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ANDOVER-HARVARD THEOLOGICAL 
LIBRARY 

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CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS 



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1934 



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SOME ASPECTS OF 



RABBINIC THEOLOGY 



THE MACMILLAN CX)MPANY 

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MACMILLAN ft CO., Limitbd 

LOUDON • BOMBAY • CALCXnTA 



THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, Ltd. 

TOKONTO 



SOME ASPECTS OF 

RABBINIC THEOLOGY 



BY 



S. SCHECHTER, M.A., Lrrx.D, (Cantab.) 



THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 

1909 

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LOUIS MARSHALL, ESQUIRE 

JEW AND AMERICAN 



PREFACE 

The contents of this book have grown out of a 
course of lectures delivered at various learned centres, 
and a series of essays published in \ih^ Jewish Quar- 
terly Review. These essays began to appear in the 
year 1894. They attracted some notice, and were 
utilised by several writers on theological subjects, 
both with and without due acknowledgment. They 
are now presented to the public in an expanded form, 
revised and corrected, and increased by new chapters 
and other additional matter, amounting to about half 
of the bulk of this volume. 

The first chapter, which is introductory, offers the 
reader a fair notion of the nature of our subject as 
conceived by the author, the point of view from which 
he approaches it, the inherent difficulties in its treat- 
ment, and the manner in which he has tried to accom- 
plish his task. Yet a few supplementary remarks 
seem to be necessary. 

This volume represents no philosophic exposition 
of the body of doctrine of the Synagogue, nor does 
it offer a description of its system of ethics. Both 
the philosophy of the Synagogue and its ethics have 
been treated in various works by competent scholars 
belonging to different schools of thought The main 
aim of such works is, however, as it would seem, 

▼u 



viii PREFACE 

interpretation, more often re-interpretation. The 
object of the following pages is a different one. The 
task I set myself was to give a presentation of Rab- 
binic opinion on a number of theological topics as 
offered by the Rabbinic literature, and forming an 
integral part of the religious consciousness of the 
bulk of the nation or " Catholic Israel" 

Keeping this end in view, I considered it advisable 
not to intrude too much interpretation or paraphrase 
upon the Rabbis. I let them have their own say in 
their own words, and even their own phraseology, so 
far as the English idiom allowed. My work con- 
sisted in gathering the materials distributed all over 
the wide domain of Rabbinic literature, classifying, 
sifting, and arranging them, and also in ascertaining 
clearly and stating in simple, direct terms the doc- 
trines and theological concepts that they involved, 
in such a manner as to convey to the student a clear 
notion of the Rabbinic opinion of the doctrine under 
discussion. In cases where opinion differed, the 
varying views were produced, and so were inconsist- 
encies pointed out, stating, however, when there was 
sufficient authority for doing so, what the prevailing 
opinion in the Synagogue was. Where such author- 
ity was lacking, it was assumed that the Synagogue 
allowed both opinions to stand, neither opinion con- 
taining the whole truth, and being in need of qualifi- 
cations by the opposite opinion. 

On the other hand, I made little use of such matter 
as may be described as mere legend and fancy, fall- 



PItEPACE ix 

ing within the province of folk-lore and apocalypse 
rather than belonging to the domain of theology. 
These represent the chaff, an inevitable growth in 
the field of religion. Now and then a grain of truth 
may be detected in it, but as a rule the chaff serves 
more often to hide the grain of truth from sight. To 
the practised eye of the student, such passages appear 
as " theological curiosities," either heedlessly repeated 
or surreptitiously inserted in the text The works in 
which this chaff grew most exuberantly have a strong 
family likeness with certain Pseudepigrapha, which 
were a product, not of the Synagogue, but of the vari- 
ous sects hovering on the borderland of Judaism, on 
which they may have left some mark by a few stray 
passages finding their way even into the older Rab- 
binic literature. The Hebrew works, however, which 
are especially conspicuous for the affinity of their 
contents or the larger part of their contents with 
those Pseudepigrapha, are of a later date. They 
make their appearance under disguise, betraying suffi- 
ciently their origin by their bewildering contents as 
well as by their anachronisms. They were admitted 
into the Synagogue only under protest, so to speak. 
The authorities seem to have been bafHed, some dis- 
owning them, whilst others are overawed by their 
very strangeness and apologise for their existence, — 
or, reinterpret them. The writings are thus of little 
help to the student of Rabbinic opinion, though they 
may be of service to the worker on the field of the 
Pseudepigrapha. 



X PREFACE 

As really representative of such opinion, we can 
only take into account the Talmudic and the recog- 
nised Midrashic literature, or the " great Midrashim." 
But even in these authoritative works we have first to 
separate all that is stray and peculiar of the nature 
just indicated, and to eliminate a great deal of polemi- 
cal matter only uttered under provocation in the heat 
of controversy, and to subject the whole of it to the 
test of the religious consciousness of Israel 

This literature covers, as stated elsewhere, many 
centuries, and was produced in widely differing climes 
amid varying surroundings and ever-changing con- 
ditions, and was interrupted several times by great 
national catastrophes and by the rise of all sorts of 
sects and schisms. 

This last circumstance — besides being productive 
of bitter polemics, as just hinted at — could not fail 
to create new ''theological values," as the modem 
phrase is, leading, for instance, to the emphasis upon 
the significance of the Law and even the Oral Law 
and other doctrinal points, which, though questioned 
by none, were never before stated with such distinct- 
ness and in such a challenging manner. 

The influence of the historic events may perhaps 
be best illustrated by the literature bearing upon the 
belief in the advent of the Messiah. Whatever doubt 
there may be as to the high antiquity of this doc- 
trine or as to the varying phases it passed through 
in the early stages of its history, no such uncertainty 
prevails as to the opinion held by the Rabbis with 



PREFACE xi 

regard to it. This opinion can easily be ascertained 
from Rabbinic literature, which permits of no doubt 
that the belief in the advent of the Messiah in its 
general and main features was a firmly established 
doctrine of Rabbinic Judaism. The main outlines 
are given by Scripture and tradition, but it is history 
which furnishes the details. These appear sometimes 
in the form of apocalypses, reflecting the events of 
their age, whilst the prolonged suffering of Israel, 
and the brooding of the nation over the wrongs in- 
flicted upon the people of God, have the unfortunate 
result that fancy and imagination busy themselves 
more with the anti-Messiah and the punishment 
awaiting him than with the Messiah and the bliss 
coming in his wake. To such an extent does this 
proceed that in some of these apocalypses the uni- 
versalistic features of the Kingdom are almost ob- 
scured, although, in truth, Israel never abandoned 
them even amidst the worst distress. 

Notwithstanding, however, all these excrescences 
which historic events contributed towards certain be- 
liefs and the necessary mutations and changes of 
aspects involved in them, it should be noted that 
Rabbinic literature is, as far as doctrine and dogma 
are concerned, more distinguished by the consensus 
of opinion than by its dissensions. On the whole, 
it may safely be maintained that there is little in the 
dogmatic teachings of the Palestinian authorities of 
the first and second centuries to which, for instance, 
R. Asbi of the fifth and even R. Sherira of the tenth 



xii PREFACE 

century, both leaders of Rabbinic opinion in Babylon, 
would have refused their consent, though the em- 
phasis put on the one or the other doctrine may have 
differed widely as a result of changed conditions and 
surroundings. On the other hand, a careful study 
of the Agadic sayings, for instance, of R. Akiba and 
R. Meir of the second century, will sufficiently prove 
that there is little or nothing in the dicta of these 
great teachers which would have prevented them from 
subscribing to the same general theological beliefs 
that inspired the homilies contained in the 3eder 
Elijah and the Agadath Bereshith compiled in the 
seventh or in the eighth century, if not much later. 
Indeed, many statements in these books appearing 
at the first glance as new can often be traced as mere 
amplifications of teachings occurring in some older 
collection of the second and third century in a less 
difiFuse form. 

It was in view of this fact that I did not consider 
it necessary to provide the quotations given from the 
Talmud and the Midrash with the date of their 
authors, assuming that as long as there is no evi- 
dence that they are in contradiction to some older or 
even contemporary opinion they may be regarded as 
expressive of the general opinion of the Synagogue. 
Such a treatment of the subject was, I thought, the 
more justified as it did not lie within the scope of this 
work to furnish the student with a history of Rabbinic 
theology, but rather, as already indicated, to give 
some comprehensive view of a group of theological 



FItEPACE xiii 

subjects as thought out and taught by the Synagogue. 
It should be remembered that the field lay entirely 
barren until a comparatively recent date. Indeed, 
when I began to write on the subject there did not 
exist a single book or even essay from which I could 
derive any instruction or which could serve me as a 
model in the conception and construction of the work. 
Conditions have since considerably improved, and 
I have had occasion in the course of this book to 
gratefully refer to those who have rendered substan- 
tial contributions to this subject With the great 
lack of preliminary studies and the absence of mono- 
graphs on subjects of Rabbinic theology, a history 
of its development would thus be prematiure. Not 
only will the whole of the Agadic literature as well 
as the Targumin have to be carefully studied, but the 
Halachah also will have to be consulted, for this was 
very sensitive to all shades and changes in theological 
opinion, and in many cases reverberates with it. But 
what is mainly needed are good treatises on individual 
doctrines and theological terms based on primary 
sources and giving the necessary attention to detail 

The legitimate successors of the Talmud and the 
Midrash are the legal codices and the works of edifi- 
cation known as Books of Discipline {Sifre Mussar) 
of the Middle Ages, constituting the Halachah and 
the Agadah of post-Talmudic Judaism. Not only 
do they restore to us occasionally passages from 
ancient Rabbinic collections now lost to us, but they 
a£Ford us some insight into the workings of Rabbinic 



Xiv PREFACE 

opinion after Israel had, through the medium of the 
Arabic vernacular, been brought into contact with 
Greek thought, or what professed to be Greek thought, 
of difiFerent schools and had, for the first time per- 
haps, become really conscious of the obstacles on the 
path of belief. A few extracts from this literature are 
sometimes given in the text by way of illustration. 

As a treasiire-house of "theological sentiment," we 
may regard the Piyutim^ or the hymnological litera- 
ture of the mediaeval Synagogue, aptly described 
sometimes as a continuation or development of the 
Psalms and the ancient liturgy of the Synagogue. 
Nowhere, perhaps, are the teachings of the Syna- 
gogue in reference to the close relations between God 
and Israel and the permanency of the Covenant with 
the Fathers expressed with greater conviction and 
more depth than in the hymns recited in the Sabbaths 
between the Passover and the Feast of Weeks. 
Ag^ain, the doctrines as to the meaning of sin in its 
aspect of rebellion and its terrible consequences, the 
efficacy of repentance, and the helplessness of man 
to obtain pardon and reconciliation without assistance 
from heaven — all these doctrines receive nowhere 
a more emphatic expression both in strains of the 
most exalted joy and of the deepest humiliation than 
in the mediaeval Synagogue compositions for the 
Penitential Days, especially for the Day of Atone- 
ment This will be found to be the case with other 
doctrines, such as the inspiration of the Scriptures, 
the significance of the Commandments as a saving 



PREFACE XV 

factor, which forms the theme of the Synagogue 
poetry for the Feast of Weeks, or the doctrine of the 
advent of the Messiah, and the restoration of Israel 
to the Holy Land, which constitutes the subject 
of elegies for the Ninth of Ab and the Consolation 
Sabbaths succeeding it 

It is true that these poetical compositions cannot 
be considered as representative of universal ,Rabbinic 
opinion, in the same measure as the Talmua and the 
Midrash. To a certain extent they enjoyed only 
local authority, each country having in addition to the 
common Prayer Book a liturgical collection of its 
own. The ritual of the Spanish Jews, for instance, 
contains but few compositions emanating from the 
Franco-German School, or even from their earlier 
models written in Palestine and Babylon. It is dis- 
tinguished by the simplicity of its diction and its 
symmetrical form. It is, further, less cumulative of 
its epithets of the Deity, and is sparing in allusions 
to the Talmud and Midrash, whilst there is in it but 
a minimum of Angelology, which forms such a 
prominent feature in the sacred poetry of other 
schools, reflecting unmistakably the influence of the 
Chapters of the Chambers and similar mystical pro- 
ductions. 

Such differences, however, vital as they may appear 
to the metaphysician, affect but slightly the main 
features of such doctrines as are above referred to 
and are discussed in the course of these pages. In 
these the consensus of opinion was maintained 



xwi PREFACE 

even after Aristotle became /A^ sage of Jewish litera- 
ture and the wisdom of the Greeks was discovered 
to be "bordering on the path of the faith." Nor 
could it be otherwise. Starting from the same 
premises, such as the inspiration of the Scriptures, 
their binding authority upon every Jew, and fully 
admitting the claim of the Rabbis to be the only 
legitimate interpreters of these Scriptures, — much 
as the various schools difiFered in their definition of 
inspiration and in their method of eliminating isolated 
Rabbinic opinion, — and sharing in the same hope of 
the nation as it found expression in the doctrine of 
the advent of the Messiah, — much as they differed 
in the description of his person and the miraculous 
details accompanying his appearance, — they could 
not but arrive at the same general conclusions. Prac- 
tically, they only differed to agree in the end. It was 
only in this way that it came to pass that Maimonides' 
r^sum6 of the Creed became soon the object of 
numberless hymns accepted by the Synagogue at 
large, and even mystics wrote commentaries to it; 
whilst there were very few — perhaps none — of the 
rationalising school who would have had any scruples 
to read their prayers from the common Prayer Book 
used in Germany or France. If it was not exactly 
uniformity, the unity of Israel was well maintained 
— " union of doctrines, of precepts, of promises." 

It is one of the most interesting of religious phe- 
nomena to observe the essential unity that the Syna- 
gogue maintained, despite all antagonistic influences. 



PREFACE xvii 

Dispersed among the nations, without a national 
centre, without a synod to formulate its principles, 
or any secular power to enforce its decrees, the Syna- 
gogue found its home and harmony in the heart of 
a loyal and consecrated Israel. 

There was no school of thought to which it was 
not exposed, no great philosophic or spiritual influ- 
ence which did not reach into its life and is not re- 
flected in its development These foreign-bom ideas 
were all thoroughly assimilated by the Synagogue, 
and mingled even with its devotion and contemplation. 
The hymn, " Royal Crown," by R. Solomon b. Gabi- 
rol, in the Spanish ritual, and the " Song of Unity," 
in the German ritual, both recited on the Day of 
Atonement, are sufficient evidence of this fact, apart 
from some customs and usages of non-Jewish origin, 
which were thoroughly converted to Judaism by the 
Synagogue in the process of time. Having gained 
an entrance by a process of natural selection and 
unconscious absorption, the power of Judaism was 
manifested in its obliteration of all that was strange 
and objectionable in such accretions, so strong were 
its digestive powers. But equally, the vitality of the 
Synagogue was manifested in what it eliminated and 
rejected as inconsistent with its existence. Whenever 
any influence, no matter by whom advanced or by 
whatever power maintained, developed a tendency that 
was contrary to a strict monotheism, or denied the 
binding character of the Torah, or aimed to destroy 
the unity and character and calling of Israel, although 



xviii PREFACE 

it may have gained currency for a time, the Syna- 
gogue finally succeeded in eliminating it as noxious 
to its very existence. 

It is this body of Israel in which the unity of the 
Synagogue was and is still incorporate that I called 
occasionally as witness in some cases of religious 
sentiment wholly unknown to the outsider. I may 
as well state here that it was my knowledge of this 
Israel which gave the first impulse to these essays. 
Having been brought up among Jews who did live 
under the strict discipline of the Law and were almost 
exclusively nurtured on the spiritual food of the 
Talmud and Midrashim, and having had occasion 
thus to observe them for many years, both in their 
religious joys and in their religious sorrows, I felt 
quite bewildered at the theological picture drawn of 
Rabbinic Judaism by so many writers. I could not 
but doubt their statements and question their con- 
clusions. These doubts were expressed to friends, 
who were at once affected more or less by my seep 
tical attitude and urged me to write down my thoughts 
on the subject, which in the course of time took shape 
in essays and lectures. The reader will, therefore, 
pardon if, in addition to the written evidence, I 
appeal also in a few cases to living testimony. 

The foregoing remarks will suffice to prepare the 
reader for what he has to expect from this book and 
in what he will be disappointed. I have also pre- 
pared him for my point of view, which is further 
developed in the body of the book. I have only to 






PREFACE Xix 

warn the reader that this volume is by no means 
exhaustive of Rabbinic opinion on all theological 
subjects dealt with in Rabbinic literature. ^ This book 
represents only some Aspects of Rabbinic Theology. 
Some doctrines, such as, for instance, Immortality, 
Resurrection, were only slightly touched upon ; whilst 
others, as the Eschatology of the Rabbis with regard 
to the Day of Judgement, Eternal Punishment, and 
similar topics, hardly found any place in this volume. 
The guiding motive in the choice of subjects was in 
general a selection of those large and important prin- 
ciples in which Rabbinic thought and Israel's faith 
were most clearly represented and which I found 
were most in need of elucidation, because so often 
misunderstood and misinterpreted. If God gives me 
life and strength, I may perhaps one day write more 
aspects of Rabbinic theology. 

As to the nature of the literature with which I had 
to deal, the reader will find the necessary information 
about it in the Introductory Chapter. I desire only 
to add that I did not wish to multiply references in 
my Notes when the additional references brought 
no further information with them. Both the Talmud 
and the Midrashim are now provided on the mar- 
gin or the foot of the page with ample references to 
parallel passages, and the student who is anxious 
to farther pursue the subject can easily turn to the 
original sources with the aid of the references given 
in the Notes. I have also purposely avoided in my 
transliteration of Hebrew words or names all bewil- 



PREFACE 



dering devices for representing the actual sound of 
the word, contenting myself with the ordinary Roman 
alphabet, in spite of its shortcomings. 

In conclusion, I wish to thank Dr. Alexander Marx, 
Professor of History in the Jewish Theological Semi- 
nary of America, who prepared the list of Abbrevia- 
tions for me. I am also indebted to Mr. Joseph B. 
Abrahams, Clerk of the Seminary office, who was 
always at my call during the progress of this work. 
I can further hardly express sufficiently my obliga- 
tions to my friend Rabbi Charles Isaiah HofiFman, 
of Newark, N.J., for his painstaking reading of the 
proofs and for ever so many helpful suggestions, by 
which this volume has profited. And last, but not 
least, I have to record my special obligations to my 
friend, Miss Henrietta Szold, who likewise read the 
proof, and made many a valuable suggestion. I am 
particularly grateful to her for the excellent Index 
she has prepared to this work, which will, I am con- 
vinced, be appreciated by every reader of this volume. 

S. S. 



CONTENTS 

aum* FAGB 

I. Introductory i 

II. God and the World 21 

III. God and Israel 46 

IV. Election of Israel 57 

V. The Kingdom of God (Invisible) ... 65 

VI. The Visible Kingdom (Universal) . . 80 

VII. The Kingdom of God (National) 97 

VIII. The<<Law" 116 \/ 

IX. The Law as personified in the Literature 127 

X. The Torah in its Aspect of Law (Miz- 

woth) 138 •' 

XI. The Jot of the Law 148 v^ 

XII. The Zachuth of the Fathers. Imputed 

Righteousness and Imputed Sin .170 

XIII. The Law of Holiness and the Law of 

Goodness '99^ 

XIV. Sin as Rebellion 219 

XV. The Evil Yezer : the Source of Rebeluon 242 

XVU Man's Victory by the Grace of God, over 

THE Evil Yezer created by God . 264 > 

XVII* Forgiveness and Reconciliation with God 293 



xxii CONTENTS 



PACE 

XVIII. Repentance: Means of Reconciliation . 313 

Additions and Corrections 345 

List op Abbreviations and Books not quoted with 
Full Title 349 

Index 353 



SOME ASPECTS OF 
RABBINIC THEOLOGY 



SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC 

THEOLOGY 



INTRODUCTORY 

My object in choosing the title "Some Aspects of 
Rabbinic Theology" is to indicate that from the follow- 
mg chapters there must not be expected either finality 
or completeness. Nor will there be made any attempt 
in the following pages at that precise and system- 
atic treatment which we are rightly accustomed to 
claim in other fields of scientific inquiry. I have often 
marvelled at the certainty and confidence with which 
Jewish legalism, Jewish transcendentalism, Jewish 
self-righteousness, are delineated in our theological 
manuals and histories of religion; but I have never 
been able to emulate either quality. I have rather 
found, when approaching the subject a little closer, 
that the peculiar mode of old Jewish thought, as well 
as the unsatisfactory state of the documents in which 
this thought is preserved, "are against the certain," 
and urge upon the student caution and sobriety. In 
these introductory paragraphs I shall try to give some 
notion of the difficulties that lie before us. 

To begin with the difficulties attaching to the un- 

B I 



3 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

satisfactory state of Rabbinic documents. A promi- 
nent theologian has, when referring to the Rabbis, 
declared that one has only to study the Mishnah to 
see that it was not moral or spiritual subjects which 
engrossed their attention, but the characteristic hair- 
splitting about ceremonial trifles. There is an appear- 
ance of truth in this statement. The Mishnah, which 
was compiled about the beginning of the third century 
of the C.E., consists of sixty-one (or sixty-three) trac- 
tates, of which only one, known by the title of "The 
Chapters of the Fathers," deab with moral and spirit- 
ual matters in the narrower sense of these terms. Still 
this is not the whole truth, for there are also other 
tractates, occupying about one-third of the whole 
Idlshnah, which deal with the civil law, the procedure 
of the criminal courts, the regulation of inheritance, 
laws regarding property, the administration of oaths, 
marriage, and divorce. All these topics, and many simr 
ilar ones relating to public justice and the welfare of 
the conmiimity as the Rabbis imderstood it, are certainly 
not to be branded as ceremonial trifles; and if the 
kingdom of God on earth means something more than 
the mystical languor of the individual, it is difficult to 
see on what ground they can be excluded from the 
sphere of religion. But, apart from this consideration 
— for it seems that theologians are not yet agreed in 
their answer to the question whether it is this world, 
with all its wants and complications, which should be 
the subject for redemption, or the individual soul^ with 



MUM_:..»iaM^v>r«jB««. •--. . 



INTRODUCTORY 3 

its real and imaginary longings — there runs, parallel 
with this Mishnah, a vast literature, known under the 
name of Agadah, scattered over a multitude of Tal- 
mudical and Midrashic works, the earliest of which 
were compiled even before or about the time of the 
Mishnah, and the latest of which, while going down 
as far as the tenth or even the eleventh century, still 
mdude many ancient elements of Rabbinic thought. 
In these compilaiions it will be found that the minds 
of the so-called triflers were engrossed also with such 
subjects as God, and man's relation to God ; as right- \ 
eousness and sin, and the origin of evil; as suffering ^ 
and repentance and immortality; as the election of 
Israel, Messianic aspirations, and with many other cog- 
nate subjects lying well within the moral and spiritual 
sphere, and no less interesting to the theologian than to 
the philosopher. 

It is these Talmudic and Midrashic works, to which 
I should like to add at once the older Jewish liturgy,^ 
which will be one of the main sources of the material 
for the following chapters. Now I do not want to 
enter here into bibliographical details, which may be 
foimd in any good history of Jewish literature. But 
it may have been noticed that I spoke of ''compila- 
tions"; and here a difficulty comes in. For a com- 
pilation presupposes the existence of other works, 
of which the compiler makes use. Thus there must 
have been some Rabbinic work or works composed 
long before our Mishnah, and perhaps as early as 



4 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

30 C.E.* This work, or collection, would clearly have 
provided a better means for a true understanding of 
the period when Rabbinism was still in an earlier stage 
of its formation, than our present Mishnah of 200 as. 
Is it not just possible that many a theological feature, 
characteristic of the earlier Rabbis, found no place 
in the Mishnah, either because of its special design or 
through the carelessness or fancy of its compiler, or 
through some dogmatic consideration unknown to us? 
Is it not likely that the teaching of the Apostle Paul, the 
antinomian consequences of which became so manifest 
during the second century, brought about a growing 
prejudice against all allegoric explanations of the 
Scriptures,' or that the authorities refused to give them 
a prominent place in the Mishnah, which was intended 
by its compiler to become the great depository of the 
Oral Law? But whatever the cause, the effect is that 
we are almost entirely deprived of any real contempo- 
rary evidence from the most important period in the 
history of Rabbinic theology. The Psalms of Solomon 
may, for want of a better title, be characterized as the 
Psalms of the Pharisees; but to derive from them a 
Rabbinic theology is simply absurd. They have not 

^ See D. Hofihnann, Magatin fikr die Wissinsckaft des fudenthmns 
(Berlin), 8, p. 170. 

* See the HVib ^'h of R. Eleazar b. Jose of Galilee, where we read 
that the Afashal (allegoric interpretation) was only used in the Prophets 
and in the Hagiographa, " bat the words of the Torah and command- 
ments thou most not interpret them at Mashai*^ QL Bacher, Termi- 
nohgiit I m> 



INTRODUCTORY S 

left the least trace in Jewish literature, and it is most 
probable that none of the great authorities we are ac- 
quainted with in the Talmud had ever read a single line 
of them, or even had heard their name. The same is 
the case with other Apocryphal and Apocal)rptic works, 
for which Rabbinism is often made responsible. How- 
ever strange it may seem, the fact remains that whilst 
these writings left a lasting impress on Christianity, 
they contributed — with the exception, perhaps, of the 
Book of Ecclesiasticus — little or nothing towards the 
formation of Rabbinic thought. The Rabbis were 
either wholly ignorant of their very existence, or stig- 
matised them as fabulous, or ''external" (a milder ex- 
pression in some cases for heretical), and thus allowed 
them to exert no permanent influence upon Judaism. 

Passing from the Mishnah to the Talmud proper 
(the Gemara) and to the Midrash, the same fact meets 
us again. They, too, are only compilations, and from 
the defects of this, their fimdamental quality, we fre- 
quently suffer. 

There is, for instance, the interesting subject of 
miracles, which plays such an important part in the 
history of every religion. Despite the various attempts 
made by semi-rationalists to minimise their significance, 
the frequent ocourence of miracles will always remain, 
both for believers and sceptics, one of the most important 
tests of the religion in question; to the former as a 
sign of its superhuman nature, to the latter as a proof 
of its doubtful origin. The student is accordingly 



6 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOCy 

anxious to see whether the miraculous formed vi^ essen- 
tial element of Rabbinic Judaism. Nor are we quite 
disappointed when we turn over the pages of the 
Talmud with this purpose in view. There is hardly 
any miracle recorded in the Bible for which a parallel 
might not be foimd in the Rabbinic literature. The 
greatest part of the third chapter of the Tractate 
Taanith, called also the '' Chapter of the Saints/' 
is devoted to specimens of supernatural acts per- 
formed by various Rabbis. But miracles can only 
be explained by more miracles, by regular epidemics 
of miracles. The whole period which saw them must 
become the psychological phenomenon to be explained, 
rather than the miracle-workers themselves. But of 
the Rabbinical miracles we could judge with far greater 
accuracy if, instead of the few specimens still preserved 
to us, we were in possession of all those stories and 
legends which once circulated about the saints of Israel 
in their respective periods.* 

Another problem which a fuller knowledge of these 
ancient times might have helped us to solve is this: 
With what purpose were these miracles worked, and 
what were they meant to prove? We are told in i 
Corinthians (i 22), that ''the Jews ask for signs as the 
Greeks seek for wisdom." As a fact, however, in the 
whole of Rabbinic literature, there is not one single 
instance on record that a Rabbi was ever asked by his 

^ Aboat the probability that there may have existed other collections 
of tach stories, see Rapoport, Bikkure HaiUim^ 12 ts 7S. 



INTRODUCTORY 7 

colleagues to demonstrate the soundness of his doc- 
trine, or the truth of a disputed Halachic case, by 
performing a miracle. Only once do we hear of a 
Rabbi who had recourse to miracles for the purpose of 
showing that his conception of a certain Halachah was 
the right one. And in this solitary instance the majority 
declined to accept the miraculous intervention as a 
demonstration of truth, and decided against the Rabbi 
who appealed to it.^ Nor, indeed, Vere such supernat- 
ural gifts claimed for aU Rabbis. Whilst many learned 
Rabbis are said to have "been accustomed to wonders," 
not a single miracle is reported for instance of the 
great Hillel, or his colleague, Shammai, both of whom 
exercised such an important influence on Rabbinic 
Judaism. On the other hand, we find that such men, 
as, for instance, Choni Hammaagel,' whose prayers 
were much sought after^in times of drought, or R. Cha- 
ninah b. Dosa, whose prayers were often solicited in 
cases of illness,' left almost no mark on Jewish thought, 
the former being known only by the wondrous legends 
circulating about him, the latter being represented in 
the whole Talmud only by one or two moral sayings.* 
"Signs," then, must have been as little required from 
the Jewish Rabbi as from the Greek sophist. But if 
this was the case, we are actually left in darkness about 

^ See Baba Metia^ 59 b, 

' Taanith, 24 b; cp. /tr, Taanttk, 64 a, 64 b. 

* See Beratkcth, 33 a, and /er, Berachoth,, 10 b, 

* Aboth^ 3 9. See Bacher, Ag. Tan» i ssa, p. 2. 



8 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

« ■ 

the importance of miracles and their meaning as a 
religions factor in those early times. Oiu: chances of 
clearing up such obscure but important points would 
naturally be much greater if some fresh documents 
could be discovered. 

As another instance of the damage wrought by the 
loss of those older documents, I will allude only here 
to the well-known controversy between the school of 
Shammai and the school of Hillel regarding the ques- 
tion whether it had not been better for man not to have 
been created. The controversy is said to have lasted 
for two years and a half. Its final issue or verdict was 
that, as we have been created, the best thing for us to 
do is to be watchful over our conduct.* This is all that 
tradition (or the compiler) chose to give us about this 
lengthy dispute; but we do not hear a single word 
as to the causes which led to it, or the reasons ad- 
vanced by the litigant parties for their various opinions. 
Were they metaphysical, or empirical, or simply based, 
as is so often the case, on different conceptions of the 
passages in the Scripture germane to the dispute?' 
We feel the more cause for regret when we recollect 
that the members of these schools were the contempo- 
raries of the Apostles; when Jerusalem, as it seems, 
was boiling over with theology, and its market-places 

^ ErmHn, i^b, 

* For other controTenies of a theological natare between the same 
schools, see Gen, R,^ 12 u, Rosh J/asMamak^ 16 ^; Ckagigah^ 12 0; 
F. K. 61 b. Cf. Backer, Ag. Tmn,^ i u. 



^Ifm-i^ ' 



INTRODUCTORY 9 

and synagogues were preparing metaphysics and the- 
osophies to employ the mind of posterity for thou- 
sands of years. What did the Rabbis think of all these 
aspirations and inspirations, or did they remain quite 
untouched by the influences of their siuroimdings? 
Is it not possible that a complete accoimt of such a 
controversy as I have just mentioned, which probably 
formed neither an isolated nor an imprecedented event, 
would have furnished us with just the information of 
which now we are so sorely in need? 

In the Jewish liturgy we meet with similar diflScul- _ 
ties. It is a source which has till now been compara- 
tively neglected. Still, its contents are of the greatest.-^ 
importance for the study of Jewish theology; not only 
on accoimt of the material it furnishes us, but also for 
the aid it gives us in oiu: control over the Talmud. 
For the latter is a work which can never be used with- 
out proper discretion. Like many another great book 
of an encyclopaedic character, the Talmud has been 
aptly described as a work "full of the seeds of all 
things." But not all things are religion, nor is all re- 
ligion Judaism. Certain ideas of foreign religions have * 
foimd their way into this fenceless work, but they have^ — 
never become an integral part of Jewish thought. I 
Others again represent only the isolated opinions of 
this or that individual, in flagrant contradiction to the - 
religious consciousness of Catholic Israel ; whilst others 
again, especially those relating to proselytes or the Gen- 
tiles, were in many cases only of a transitory character, 



y^ 



lO SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

suggested by the necessities or even the passions of 
the moment, but were never intended to be taught as 
doctrine. In like manner the exaltation, by sectarians, 
of one special doctrine at the cost of essential princi- 
ples of the faith led at times by way of reaction to an 
apparent repudiation of the implied heresy ; whilst the 
synagogue, through its interpreters, recognised the 
true nature of this apparent repudiation and con- 
tinued to give the objectionable doctrine its proper 
place and proportion among the accepted teachings of 
Judaism.^ Some test or tests as to the real theological 
value of a Talmudic saying will, therefore, always be 
necessary in making use of the old Rabbinic literature 
as a source of theology. The Jewish liturgy, which 
was from earliest times jealously guarded against 

1 See Weiss n'H*! i vn and JoePs Blicke^ 2 ito, seq. As an illustration 
we refer here to the well-known objection to the explanation of certain 
laws (Ler. 32 a and Dent. 22 • and 7) on the mere principle of mercy, 
** for he (who does so) declares the attributes (or the laws dictated by 
such attributes) of the Holy One, blessed be he, mercy, whilst they 
are only commands " nma lOlt p^ 0"Oni nspn TV mTW ^3fiD> 
See Mishmak Berackcth, 5 s ; MegiUak^ 4 s; Jer. Berackotk, 9 e and 
B. T. Berackoikf 33 b, text and conunentaries. C£ also Bacher, Ag. 
Am»f 3 TSi. All these authorities, howerer, were set aside by the 
synagogue which continued the tradition of PKudo- Jonathan to Ler. 
22 a (see Berliner, Targum, 2 sf ) and nerer hesitated to explain such 
laws on the principle of mercy. See Gem, R,^ 75 i* ; Deut. R., 6 1 ; 
Tan, ^^ 3 4t a. CL also Gen. ^., 33 a, where with reference to Pk 
145 9 the words occur DfTID Kin THTTO pV. As to mediaeral au- 
thorities for the paitan Kalir, see Buber's note to /*. AT^ 98 b. Cf. also 
Nachmanides Commentary to Deut., 22 • and 7, and the reference 
there to Biaimonides. See also pnOT fi)p7 by Isaac Zaler, Warsaw, 
1895, 3 ** ^ 1A<1 ^ <^ 5 tf ^ and m 0. 



INTRODUCTORY 1 1 

heresy/ and which in its essentials always was under 
the control of the synagogue at large, may fairly be 
regarded as such a test. Now there is no reason to 
doubt that in its broad outlines this liturgy — as far 
as the Prayer Book is concerned — has its origin in the 
earliest Tannaitic times, whilst certain portions date 
from the pre-Christian era, but it is at present so over- 
gpnown with additions and interpolations, that the orig- 
inal contents are hardly discernible from the constant 
accretions of succeeding ages. The Talmud, and even 
the Mishnah, occasionally quote some ancient liturgical 
passages, and these might prove useful in helping us 
to fix their date.' But, imfortimately, it was not thought 
necessary to give these quotations in full. They are 
only cited by the word with which they begin, so that 
we are left in imcertainty as to the exact contents of 
the whole prayer, and have only guesses to rely on. 

Even more embarrassing than these textual diffi- 
culties are those defects which are inherent in the 
peculiar nature of old Rabbinic thought. A great 
English writer has remarked "that the true health of 
a man is to have a soul without being aware of it; to 
be disposed of by impulses which he does not criticise." 

1 See L Elbogen, GeschichU des Achtzehngebets^ Breslau, 1903, 34, 
note 4. 

* See Mishnah Tamid^ 5 1. Pesachim, 1 18 a. Cf. Landshut ^ p^ll 
to the TTWV HS^V, and Elbogen, as quoted above. See also Schech- 
tei^t notes to Thi fVisdom of Ben Sira (edited by S. Schechter and 
C Taylor), to XXXVI n c (p. 60) and LI la^ (p. 66), and /. Q, R. 
10^, p. 654. 



\ 



12 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

In a similar way the old Rabbis seem to have thought 
that the true health of a religion is to have a theology 
without being aware of it; and thus they hardly evei 
made — nor could they make — any attempt towards 
working their theology into a formal system, or giving 
us a full exposition of it. With God as a reality. 
Revelation as a fact, the Torah as a rule of life, 
and the hope of Redemption as a most vivid expec- 
tation, they felt no need for formulating their dogmas 
into a creed, which, as was once remarked by a great 
theologian, is repeated not because we believe, but 
that we may believe. What they had of theology, 
they enunciated spasmodically or "by impulses." 
Sometimes it found its expression in prayer "when 
their heart cried unto God"; at others in sermons 
or exhortations, when they wanted to emphasise an 
endangered principle, or to protest against an in- 
truding heresy. The sick-bed of a friend, or public 
distress, also offered an opportimity for some theo- 
logical remark on the question of suffering or pen- 
ance. But impulses are uncertain, incoherent, and 
even contradictory, and thus not always trustworthy. 
The preacher, for instance, would dwell more on the 
mercy of God, or on the special claims of Israel, when 
his people were oppressed, persecuted, and in want of 
consolation; whilst in times of ease and comfort he 
would accentuate the wrath of God awaiting the sinner, 
and his severity at the day of judgement. He would 
magnify faith when men's actions were lacking in in- 



INTRODUCTORY I3 

ward motive, but he would urge the clahn of works 
when the Law had been declared to be the strength 
of sin. When the Law was in danger he would appeal 
to Lev. 27 43, "Those are the commandments which 
the Lord commanded Moses/' and infer that these 
laws, and no others, were to be observed forever, and 
that no subsequent prophet might add to them.^ At 
another time he would have no objection to introduce 
new festivals, e.g. the Lighting of the Chanukah 
Candles, and even declare them to be distinct commands 
of God,* so long as they were, as it seemed to him, within 
the spirit of the Law. He would not scruple to give 
the ideal man his due, to speak of him as forming the 
throne of God,' or to invest him with pre-mimdane 
existence;* but he would watch jealously that he did 
not become, as it were, a second god, or arrogate to 
himself a divine worship. I shall have frequent occa- 
sion to point out such apparent or actual contradictions. 
The Rabbis, moreover, show a carelessness and slug- 
gishness in the application of theological principles 
which must be most astonishing to certain minds 

"^Stt T.K. ii^d. 

< ShaUaA^ 23 <£ See aho/er. Sukkah^ 53 d. 

* See Gen, R. 47 6. 

* See Gen. Ji,i\ about the pre-mondane existence of the name of the 
Meniah. Cf. iHd, 2 4, about the soul of the Messiah, /did, 8 4 mention 
k made of the souls of the righteous with whom God took counsel 
wheo he was going to create the world. See also PjRE, 3, text and 
commentary. Cf. also Joel, Blickef 2 ui and S, E. 160, text and notes, 
and below, p. 70. See also Dr. L. Ginzberg, ** Die Haggada bei den 
KirckenvStern^* p. 4, note i. 



14 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

which seem to mistake merciless logic for God-given 
truths. For example, it is said: "He who believes in 
the faithful shepherd is as if he believes in the word 
of him whose will has called the world into existence," 
• . . "Great was the merit of the faith which Israel 
put in God; for it was by the merit of this faith that 
the Holy Spirit came over them, and they said Shirah 
to God, as it is said, 'And they believed in the Lord 
and his servant Moses. Then sang Moses and the 
children of Israel this song imto the Lord.*"* . . . 
Again, " Our father, Abraham, came into the possession 
of this world and the world hereafter only by the merit 
of his faith." ' Of R. Jose it is recorded that he said: 
"If thou art desirous to know the reward awaiting the 
righteous, thou mayest infer it from Adam the First, 
for whose single transgression he and all his posterity 
were punished with death; all the more then shall the 
good action of a man confer bliss upon him, and justify 
him and his posterity to the end of all generations." ■ 
Another Rabbi tells us that by the close contact of the 
serpent with Eve, he left in her a taint which infected 
all her seed, but from which the Israelites were freed 
when they stood before Mount Sinai, for there they 
came into immediate contact with the divine presence.* 

^ Mechilta (ed. Friedmann), 33 a. By Shirah rn^ is meant the 
Song of Moses (Exod. 15). 

« Mechilta, iHd, 

* T, K. 27 a, Cf. Delitzsch, Hebrew Translation of the Romans 
(Leipzig, 1870), p. 82. 

^ Jebamoth, 103^. 



p^MHMIh 



INTRODUCTORY 15 

To the professional theologian, it is certainly distress- 
ing to find that such sayings, which would have made 
the fortune of any ancient Alexandrian theosophist 
or modem Hegelian of the right wing, were never 
properly utilised by the Rabbis, and ''theologically 
fructified," nor ever allowed to be carried to what 
appears to the scholastic mind as their Intimate 
consequences. The faithful shepherd and the bliss- 
conferring righteous were never admitted into the 
Rabbinic pantheon; the concession made to the patri- 
arch was never extended to his posterity, faith only 
modifying and vivifying works, but not superseding 
them, and even the direct contact with the Deity, 
which the fact of being present at the Revelation of 
Sinai offered to every Israelite, were conceived of only 
as the beginning of a new life, with new duties and 
obligations. 

This indifference to logic and insensibility to theologi- 
cal consistency seems to be a vice from which not even 
the later successors of the Rabbis — the commentators 
of the Talmud — emancipated themselves entirely. I 
give one example : We read, in the name of R. Akiba, \ 
"Everything is foreseen; freedom of choice is given. 
And the world is judged by grace, and yet aU is accord- 
ing to the amount of work.'* This is the usual reading. 
But some of the best Mss. have the words, "And not 
according to the amount of work." * The difference 

^ See Dr. Taylor's Sayings of the Jewish Fathers, Appendix 152. 
I add here BCs. Oxford Heb., c 17. Parma, 803, 975. See Maehwr 



X6 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

between the two readings being so enormous, we should 
naturally expect from the commentators some long dis- 
sertation about the doctrines of justificatiouvby grace 
or works. But nothing of the sort happens. They 
fail to realise the import of the difference, and pass it 
over with a few slight remarks of verbal explanation. 
Perhaps they were conscious that neither reading ought 
to be accepted as decisive, each of them being in need 
of some qualification implied in the other. 

It will, therefore, suggest itself that any attempt at 
an orderly and complete system of Rabbinic theology 
is an impossible task; for not only are our materials 
scanty and insuflScient for such a purpose, but, when 
handling those fragments which have come down to 
us, we must always be careful not to labour them too 
much, or to "fill them with meaning*' which their 
author could never have intended them to bear, 
against which all his other teachings and his whole 
life form one long, emphatic protest, or to spin 
from the harmless repetition by a Rabbi of a gnostic 
saying or some Alexandrinic theorem the impor- 
tance of which he never imderstood, a regiilar 
system of Rabbinic theology. All that these frag- 
ments can offer us are some aspects of the theology 
of the Rabbis, which may again be modified by 
other aspects, giving us another side of the same sub- 

Viiri, pp. 514, 515. Compare also Die Responsen des R. MesckuUam 
bin Kalonymos^ by Dr. Jod Mflller (Berlin, 1893), P* "t ^ote 19. 
See below p. 306. 



ti •-a ■. > . 



INTRODUCTORY 17 

ject. What we can obtain resembles rather a com- 
plicated arrangement of theological checks and bal- 
ances than anything which the modem divine would ) 
deign to call a consistent "scheme of salvation." Still, ^ 
I am inclined to think that a religion which has been 
in " working order" for so many centuries — which con- 
tains so little of what we call theology, and the little 
theology of which possesses so few fixities (whilst even 
these partake more of the nature of experienced reali- 
ties than of logically demonstrated dogmas) — that this 
religion forms so unique and interesting a phenoinenon 
as to deserve a more thorough treatment than it has 
hitherto received. It is not to be dismissed with a few 
general phrases, only tending to prove its inferiority. 

This brings me to one other introductory point which 
I wish to suggest by the word Aspects, Aspects, as we 
know, vary with the attitude we take. My attitude is " 
a Jewish one. This does not, I hope, imply either an , 
apology for the Rabbis, or a polemic tendency against 
their antagonists. Judaism does not give as its raisofi 
iPUre the shortcomings of any of the other great creeds 
of the civilised world. Judaism, even Rabbinic Judaism, 
was there before either Christianity or Mohammedan- 
ism was called into existence. It need not, therefore, 
attack them, though it has occasionally been com- 
pelled to take protective measures when they have 
threatened it with destruction. But what I want to 
indicate and even to emphasise is, that my attitude 
towards Rabbinic theology is necessarily diflferent from 



i8 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

that taken by most commentators on the Pauline 
Epistles. I speak advisedly of the commentators on 
Paul; for the Apostle himself I do not profess to un- 
derstand. Hamack makes somewhere the remark that 
in the first two centuries of Christianity no man under- 
stood Paul except that heathen-Christian Marcion, and 
he misunderstood him. Layman as I am, it would 
be presumptuous on my part to say how far succeeding 
centuries advanced beyond Marcion. But one thing is 
quite dear even to every student, and this is that a 
curious alternative is always haimting our exegesis of 
the Epistles. Either the theology of the Rabbis must 
be wrong, its conception of God debasing, its leading 
motives materialistic and coarse, and its teachers lack- 
ing in enthusiasm and spirituality, or the Apostle to 
the Gentiles is quite imintelligible. I need not face 
this alternative, and may thus be able to arrive at 
results utterly at variance with those to be found in our 
theological manuals and introductions to the New 
Testament. 

The question as to how far the theology of the Rabbis 
could be brought into harmony with the theology of our 
age is a matter of apologetics, and does not exactly fall 
within the province of these essays. With a little 
of the skill so often displayed by the writers of the 
life and times of ancient heroes, particularly New 
Testament heroes, it would certainly not be an impos- 
able task to draw such an ideal and noble picture of 
any of the great Rabbis, such as Hillel, R. Jochanan 



INTRODUCTORY 19 

ben Sakkai, or R. Akiba, as would make us recognise 
a nineteenth-century altruist in them. Nor would it 
require much ingenuity to parade, for instance, R. 
Abuhah as an accomplished geologist, inasmuch as he 
maintained that before the creation of our world God 
was ever constructing and destroying worlds ; ^ or again, 
to introduce as a perfect Hegelian that anonymous 
Rabbi who boldly declared that it was Israel's con- ( 
sciousness of God which was " the making of God " : ' ' 
or finally, to arrogate for R. Benaha the merit of hav- 
ing been the forerunner of Astruc, because he declared 
that the Pentateuch was delivered not as a complete 
work, but in a series of successive scrolls.' Indeed, 
the Rabbinic literature has already been described as 
a *' wonderful mine of religious ideas from which it 
would be just as easy to draw up a manual for the 
most orthodox as to extract a vade-mecum for the most 
acepticaL" But I have not the least desire to array the 
ancient Rabbis in the paraphernalia of modem fashion, 
and to put before the reader a mere theological masquer- 
ade, or to present the Talmud as a rationalistic pro- 
duction which only by some miracle escaped the 
vigilant eye of the authorities, who failed to recognise 
it as a heretical work and exclude it from the Syna- 
gogue. The "liberty of interpretation," in which so 
many theologians indulge, and which they even exalt 
as 'Christian freedom,^' seems to me only another 

1 See Gem. R^9% * See below, p. 24, note 2. 

*See GiaiH, 16 a. 



20 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 



word for the privilege to blunder, and to deceive oneself 
and others. 

To show, however, that Rabbinic theology is, with 
the least modicum of interpretation or re-interpreta- 
tion, equal to the highest aspirations of the religious 
man of various modes of thought, occasional illustra- 
tions have been given from the works of philosophers 
and mystics, thus proving the latent possibilities of 
its application by various schools in di£Ferent ages. 
As to " modernity," it entirely depends whether there 
is still room in its programme for such conceptions as 
God, Revelation, Election, Sin, Retribution, Holiness, 
and similar theological ideas ; or is it at present merely 
juggling with words to drop them at the first oppor- 
tunity ? If this latter be the case, it will certainly find 
no ally in Rabbinic theology, or for that matteTi in 
any other theology. 



GOD AND THE WORLD 

Among the many strange statements by which the 
Jewish stu4ePt? Ls struck, when reading modem divin- 
ity works, there is none more puzzling to his mind than 
the assertion of the transcendentalism of the Rabbinic 
God, and his remoteness from man. A world of in* 
genuity is spent to prove that the absence of the media- 
torial idea in Rabbinic Theology is a sign not of its 
acceptance of man's close communion with God, but 
of its failure to establish the missing link between 
heaven and earth. Sa3rings of a fantastic nature, as, 
for instance, when a Rabbi speaks of God's abode 
in heaven, with its various partitions ; * epithets for 
God, such as Heaven or Supreme, which antique piety 
accepted for the purpose of avoiding the name of 
God "being uttered in idleness"; terms expressive of 
his providence and his sublime holiness, as the Holy 
One, blessed be he, the King, the Lord of the World, 

^ See Weber, System der Altsynagogalen Pal&sHnenischen Theologie 
(Leipzig lS8o),pp. 158, 159. See B. Jacob, « Im Namen Gottes,'^ ?• 171* 
It IS interetdog that in the very passage in Chagigah, 5 b, where this 
■harp dirision between the inner and outer departments ii given, it is 
alio stated that in the latter God is mourning over the misfortunes of 
IsaeL 

21 



33 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

or the Master of all Creation; Hellenistic phraseSi 
which crept into Jewish literature, but which never 
received, in the mouth of a Rabbi, the significance 
which they had with an Alexandrine philosopher, or 
a Father of the Church, — are all brought forward to 
give evidence of the great distance which the Rabbinic 
Jew must have felt, and must feel, between himself and 
his God. 

How strange all this to the Jewish student ! Does the 
Jewish Prayer Book contain such passages as — " O our 
Father, merciful Father, ever compassionate, have mercy 
upon us. . . . Thou hast chosen us from all peoples 
and tongues, and hast brought us near imto thy great 
name forever in faithfulness, to thank thee and pro- 
claim thy Unity in love ; blessed art thou, O God, who 
hast chosen thy j)eople Israel, in love":* or are they 
Christian interpolations from some unknown hand? 
Is the Jew taught to confess his sins daily in the follow- 
ing words: "Forgive us, our Father, for we have 
sinned ; pardon us, our King, for we have transgressed 
. . . blessed art thou, our God, who art gracious and 
dost abundantly forgive":' or is this formula borrowed 
from a non- Jewish litiu^ ? Has the Jew ever heard his 
mother at the bedside of a sick relative, directing 
prayers to God, and appealing to him as "the beloved 
name, the gracious helper, the merciful Father, and 

1 See Daify Prayer Book, edited and translated by the late Rer. SL 
Singer (1S90), p. 40; Baer,Siricr' riTISPf R6delheim, 1868, p. Sa 
s See Singer, p. 46; Baer, p. 90. 



GOD AND THE WORLD 33 

the dear God" : or was it some Christian neighbour to 
whom he was listening? Are the millions of worship- 
pers in the synagogue addressing themselves directly 
to God, the king and creator of the universe, the Father 
in Heaven ; or do they, in their thoughts, substitute for 
all these terms the Memra or the Logos, or some other 
abstraction, of which the writer of those prayers was 
unaware ? For, according to what we are told by many 
theologians, God is too far off, the King of the Uni- 
verse too cosmopolitan, and the Father in heaven too 
high for the mind of the Jew, and is thus an impossible 
object for worship. These are questions which readily 
suggest themselves when one, for instance, reads 
Weber's book. System der AUsynagogalen Paldstineth 
sischen Theologies which has within the last decades 
become the chief source of information for the great 
majority of the writers on this subject. The thesis 
which Weber sets himself to prove through all his work 
rs evidently that of the predominance of the legalistic 
element irf Jewish theology, which was so overwhelming 
that it crushed even God under its oppressive burden, 
or, what is the same thing, removed him out of the 
world. Hence the strange arrangements of subjects in 
Weber's work, treating first of nomism (or legalism), 
then of the character of the oral law, the authority of 
the Rabbis, etc., and last of all, of the Jewish notion 
of God. The general impression conveyed by such a 
representation is that this Jewish God is not the God 
from whom the Torah has emanated, and on whom 



24 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

its authority rests, but that he is himself a feeble reflex 
of the law, improved occasionally by some prophetic 
notions, but jealously watched by the Rabbis lest he 
should come into too close contact with hiunanity. 

This is very different from the impression which 
the Jewish student receives from a direct study of the 
sources. Quite the TtveTSiA The student is over- 
whelmed by the conviction that the manifestation of 
God in Israel's history was still as vivid to the mind of 
the Rabbis and still as present as it was to the writer 
of Deuteronomy or the author of Psalm 78. "All 
souls," say the Rabbis, "even those which had still to 
be created, were present at the Revelation on Mount 
Sinai." * The freshness with which the Biblical stories 
are retold in the Agadic literature, the vivid way in 
which they are applied to the oppressed condition of 
Israel, the future hopes which are based on them, 
create the impression that to the Rabbis and their 
followers the Revelation at Sinai and all that it implies 
was to them not a mere reminiscence or tradition, but 
that, through their intense faith, they re-witnessed 
it in their own souls, so that it became to them 
a personal experience. Indeed, it is this witnessing, 
or rather re-witnessing, to revelation by which God is 
God; without it he could not be God.' People who 

1 Exod. R., 28 6. 

*Stt P, K.^ 102 b^ and Sifre^ 144 a, with allusion to Is. 43 u. QL 
also Hoffmann's Midrasch Tannaim^ I Ts, for more striking instances. 
The expression ^3^^ (as if it were possible to say so) is used in Sifrt. 



COD AND THE WORLD 35 

X would doubt his existence and say, "There is no judge- 
ment and no judge," belong rather to the generation 
of the deluge, before God had entered so openly into 
relations with mankind.^ To those who have experi- 
enced him through so many stages in their history, such 
doubt was simply impossible. 

A God, however, who is mainly reached, not by meta- 
physical deductions, but, as was the case with the 
Rabbis, through the personal experience of his revela- » 
tion and his continuous operations in the world, can- 
not possibly be removed from it, or be otherwise con- 
fined to any particular region. Such a locally limited 
conception of the deity could, according to the Rabbis, 
only be entertained by a newly fledged proselyte, who 
had not as yet emancipated himself from his poly- 
theistic notions. To the Jew, God was at one and the 
same time above, beyond, and within the world, its soul ' 
and its life. " Jethro," say the Rabbis, "still believing 
that there was some substance in other gods, said, 'I 
know that the Lord is greater than all the gods ' (Exod. 
1511). Naaman came nearer the truth (though still 
confining God to one part of the imiverse), for he said, 

CL Bacher, Terminologies i 78, for the etymology and a more precise 
ezplmnatioa of thb term. It may be remarked that in most cases 
this term 7t3*3d is used by the Rabbis, when the anthropomorphism 
which they imply is carried further than that implied by the Bible. 
The instance which I have just cited from the Pesikta is a case in 
point. Cf. also the numerous instances given by Kohut in his Aruch 
CmmpUium, s.v. Ss^^ 

^ See Gen, ^., 26 e and Pieudo-Jonathan, Gen, 4 8. 



a6 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

'Now I know that there is no other God in all the earth, 
but in Israel' (2 Kings 5 15). Rahab (made even further 
progress, and) placed God both in heaven and earth, 
sa5ring, *For the Lord your God, he is God in heaven 
above and in earth beneath' (Josh. 2 11); but Moses 
made him fill all the space of the world (or universe), 
as it is said, 'The Lord he is (2od in the heaven 
above, and upon the earth beneath': there is none 
else (Deut. 4 39), which means that even the empty 
space is full of God." * 

He is indeed to the Rabbis, as may be gathered from 
the various appellatives for God scattered over the 
Rabbinic literature, not only the Creator of the world, 
or " he who spake and the world existed," ' but also 
the Father of the world,* the goodness (or the good 
one) of the world,* the light of the world* the life 
of the world,* the stay of the world ' the eye of the 
world,* the only one of the world,* the ancient one 
of the world,*® the righteous one of the world," the 
master or the lord of the world,*' and the space (makom) 

1 Deut, R,^ 2 «T. cf. Mechilta^ 59 a. Cf. Tan, B., 4U a; M.T^ 
19 8, 22 s, 62 8 ; cf. Bacher, Ag, Am,, I in. 

*/er. Pesachim^ 18 b, Cf. Ldw, Gessammeite Sckrifien^ I iss, note ^ 

• Midrask Prov,^ ch. lo. * P, X,^ 161 a, 

• Tan. B,^ 4 m ^. * Tan,, KVn ^, 24. 
7 Tan, B,f 50^. « Gen, R,, 42 s. 

• Gen, /?., 21 ft. 

^ Va/Jku/ to Chronicles, tectioii 1074, but the reading is rather donbt- 
ful. Cf. Ruth R,,2\, and commentariet. 
u Yoma, 37 a, Cf. Yalkut to Prcv, § 546. 
^ Berach^ih^ 4 a. 



Cod and tbe world 27 

of the world.* In another place God is compared by 
a Rabbi to the soul " filling the whole world, as the soul 
fills the body,"' a comparison which may probably 
have suggested to later Jewish writers semi-pantheistic 
notions ; as, for instance, when the author of the Song 
of the Unity says : " There is nothing but thy exist- 
ence. Thou art alive, omnipotent, and none is be- 

^ Gen. ^., 68 and P. R, 104 a, and notes. Cf. E. Landau's essay 
DU dem Raume entnommenen Synonyma fur Gott in der Netthebr&i' 
Mcken Liter atur (Zfirich, 1888), pp. 30 seq., where the whole literature 
on the subject is put together: to which Bacher, Ag. Tan,, i vn, 
and Jacob, Im Namen Goties, 1 19 may be added. According to the 
passage from the Mechilta, $2 d, given there by Bacher, 1'07 ]KD&, 
DlpO Tp WVW bvm it is the divine court of judgement which is 
called Dlp&. C£ Mechilta of R, Simon, ed. Hoffmann, 81. See also 
hcwj, Ein Wort aber die Mechilta des R, Simon, p. 9, note 4. See 
also Midrash Temurah, § 2. I believe, however, that in spite of all 
these authorities, that the older commentators of the Mechilta, ex- 
plaining the passage to refer to the court or the Sanhedrin, were in 
the right, the reading of iTQ in the MHG probably resting on some 
dexical error. The term is mainly indicative of God's ubiquity in the 
world and can best^ j>9 jtrfL^jjUted by *' Omnipresent." Cf. Taylor's 
Sayings of the JewishA Fathers^ ^, 53, note 42, though it is difficult 
to say with any certainty whether it is Jewish or Helenistic in its 
origin. On Landau's note i, p. 40, it may be remarked that the text of 
Gemara in the Mishnah Berachoth, 5 1, has D1SV3V DiT^K^ instead 
of OpO. a. Mishnah, Roih Hashana, 4 8, Drrni6 D^b DK DnnWO*! 
CTfiVSV, where Mr. Lowe's ed., p. 62 a, reads D^dlSDI instead of 
OnSOVtan. Bishop Lightfoot's quotation (in his Commentary to tht 
Cdossians, p. 213) from ^rO on the Pentateuch (to Exod. 34 so), 
according to which God is also called D^IP TV msa, the " Brst-bom 
of the world," is not to be found in the older Rabbinic literature, and 
to be only a later cabalistic term. 

* See Lev. i?., 4 s. 



28 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

sides thee. And before the All thou wast the All, 
and when the All became thou filledst the All." * 

It is true that there are also other appellatives for 
God, placing him "above the world," as the heaven,' 
the height of the world,' and the high one/ Nor is it 
to be denied that there is a whole circle of legends 
mostly concentrated round the visions of Ejj^iel, which 
give mystical descriptions of God's heavenly habita- 
tions. Here is an instance of the economy of the 
seventh heaven which is Araboth. It is with reference 
to Ps. 68 4 : " * Sing unto God, sing praises to his 
name: extol him that rideth upon the Araboth (the 
heavens).' Araboth is the heaven, in which are right- 
eousness and grace, the treasures of life, the treasures 
of peace and the treasures of bliss, and the souls of 
the righteous, and the souls and the spirits which are 
about to be created, and the dew with which the holy 
one, blessed be he, is to revive the dead . . . and there 
are the Ophanim, the Seraphim, and the holy Chayoth 
and the ministering angels and the throne of glory, 
and the king, the living God, high and exalted, rests 
above them, as it is said: 'Extol ye him that rideth 
upon the Araboth.' " • This passage, and a few others 

1 TinTf "W, 3d day. 

^ See Rab. Dictionaries, sab. D1QV. See also Schflrer 2 : 559. 

• Tan^ KTn ^, 27. 

* See Bada Batkra^ 154 a, and Rab. Dictionaries sub. rP^. Cf. also 
Landau and Ldw, about all these expressions. 

^ See Chagigah, 12 ^, 13 a ; and P. R^ 95 b seq. Cf. Ginzbergi Die 
Haggada bei den Kirchenvatem^ p. II. 



GOD AND THE WORLD 29 

of a similar character, dating perhaps from the first 
century, are developed later in the eighth and ninth 
centuries into an extensive mystical literature known 
under the name of Chapters of the Chambers,* "which 
enlarge upon the topography of the heavens with 
great minuteness, besides giving very detailed descrip- 
tions of the various divisions of the ministering angels 
who dwell there, and their various functions, and pro- 
ducing even some of the h)muis which are sung in 
heaven on particular occasions. 

But first we must note that the fact of God's abiding 
in a heaven ever so high does not prevent him from 
being at the same time also on earth. "Thou art the 
Lord oiu: God," runs the text of a prayer, which is still 
recited every day, " in heaven and on earthy and in the 
highest heavens of heavens " ; ' whilst the fact of God's 
appearing to Moses in the bush is taken as a proof that 
there is no spot on earth be it ever so lowly which 
IS devoid of the divine presence.* When a Rabbi was 
asked as to the seeming contradiction between Exod. 
40 34, according to which the glory of God filled the 
tabernacle, and i Kings 8 27, in which it is said : " Be- 
hold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain 
thee," he answered, that the matter is to be compared 
to a cave by the shore of the sea ; once the sea became 
stormy and inundated the land, when the cave filled 

1 t(hST\ p*1B existing in various versions, strongly reminding of 
tbe Book of Enoch and similar other Pseudoepigrapha. 

* See 5. E.f p. 1 18, and Introduction, p. 80. ^ P. K^2. b. 



30 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

with water, whilst the sea lost nothing of its contents ; so 
the tabernacle became full of the glory of the divine 
presence, whilst neither heaven nor earth became 
empty of it.* 

Secondly, and this is a point which cannot be suffi- 
ciently emphasised, that whatever mythologies and 
\ theosophies may be derived from the notion of heaven 
or height, on the one hand, or whatever pantheistic 
\ theories may be developed from the conception of the 
. God-fulness of the universe, on the other hand, neither 

I 

\ of these opposing tendencies were allowed to influence 
the theology of the Rabbis in any considerable degree. 
Theirs was a personal God, and a personal God 

; will always be accommodated by fancy and imagina- 
tion with some sort of local habitation. The "Not- 
Ourselves'' will always have to be placed somewhere 
else. Loftiness and height have always and will al- 
ways suggest sublimity and exaltation, and thus they 
could not choose a more suitable habitation for the 
deity than the heavens, or the heaven of heavens. 
But theology proper, or religion, is not entirely made 
up of these elements. It does not suppress them, 
but with happy inconsistency, it does not choose to 
abide by their logical consequences. 

Thus the very R. Simon b. Lakish, to whom we owe 
the Rabbinic version of the myth of the seven heavens, 
in the highest of which, as we have seen, the throne of 
glory is placed, declared the patriarchs (as models of 

^ F,K,2b', P.R^ 19 a. Cf. Bacher, Ag. Tan., 2 ir. 






GOD AND THE WORLD 31 

righteousness) to be the throne (or the chariot) of God ; 
whilst his colleague and older contemporary, R. Jo- 
chanan, laid down the axiom, that every place where 
*'thou findest the greatness of God mentioned, there 
thou findest also his humility"; and he further added 
illustrations from the Pentateuch, the Prophets, and 
the Hagiographa. The illustration from the latter is 
the very verse which partly suggested the legend of the 
seven heavens, namely the verse, "Extol ye him who 
rideth upon the Araboth" ; being followed by the words, 
** A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, 
IS God in his holy habitation" (Psalm 78 s). Thus 
we may maintain safely that with the Rabbis distance \ 
does not imply aloofness or any interruption of God's 
communion with man. Notwithstanding all distance, 
" God is near in every kind of nearness." * For though 
the distance between heaven and earth is so infinitely 
great, yet "when a man comes to the synagogue and 
prays, God listens to him, for the petitioner is like a 
man who talks into the ear of his friend." ' The same 
is the case with repentance, " the power of which is very 
great." Directly a man has a thought of repentance, 
it instantly reaches the throne of God.' 

Something similar may be remarked of the concep- 
tion of God's Kingship, forming, as we shall see in 
the sequence, an important feature of the theology of 
the Rabbis which undoubtedly contributed in some 

^/er. BtratkoA^ 13 a, ^ Jer. Benuhothj ibid. 

* P. R^ 185 a. See also below, p. 335. 



32 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

measure towards confining God to a locale^ the eleva- 
tion of which would not only suggest exaltation, but 
also convey to otu: mind a sense of security against 
all intrusion, so as to keep those below at a respectful 
distance. Yet this distance does not cause either remote- 
ness and separation. These are only brought about 
by the evil actions of man. This we gather from such 
a passage as the following: It is with allusion to 
Ps. 1 8 12, ''He made darkness his hiding-place, his 
pavilion round him." " This verse," it is explained, 
"David only said in the praise of the Holy One, 
blessed be he, he who is tV^ ruling in the hdght . . . 
and he dwells in three hundred and ninety heavens 
• . . and in each of them there are ministering 
angels and Seraphim and Ophanim and Cherubim 
and Galgalim and a Throne of Glory. But thou 
must not wonder at this thing ; for behold, the King 
of fiesh and blood has many habitations, both for 
the warm and the cold (seasons), much more so 
the King who lives for eternity, to whom all be- 
longs." But the author of this mystical passage 
winds up with the words, " When Israel performs the 
will of the Omnipresent, he dwells in the Araboth (the 
seventh heaven) and removeth not from his (world) 
in any way, but in the time of wrath he ascends on 
high and sits in the upper heavens.^ 

1 See D, E. ch. 2. Cf. Friedxnaim DTTBCS lo, note 2, for paralleb 
and the history of this passage. The word in brackets is giren after aa 
emendation of R. Elijah of Wilna. A good collection of compariaoot 



s 

I 



MKb 



GOD AND THE WORLD 33 

The fact is, that the nearness of God is determined 
by the conduct of man, and by his realisation of this 
nearness, that is, by his knowledge of God. ''Thus 
taught the sages, Thy deeds will bring thee near (to 
God), and thy deeds will remove thee (from God). How 
so? If a man does ugly things his actions remove him 
from the divine presence, as it is said, * Your sins have 
separated between you and your God ' (Isa. 69 2). But 
if a man has done good deeds, they bring him near to 
the divine presence. . . . And it is upon man to 
know that a contrite and humble spirit is better than 
all the sacrifices (prescribed) in the Torah." * It is 
in conformity with this conception of the nearness of God 
that we read, '' Before Abraham made God known to 
his creatures, he was only the God of the heaven; 
but afterwards he became (through Abraham's prosely- 
tising activity) also the God of the earth." ' Hence 
the patriarchs are, as just quoted, the very throne of 
God,* whilst those, for instance, who speak untruth, are 
banished from his holy presence.^ Indeed, ''his main 
dwelling is among those below," and it is only sin and 
crime which cause God's removal to the upper regions. 

between God and the King of flesh and blood, entering into snch 
details as his throne, his palace, his legions, his court, his administer- 
ing justice, etc, is to be found in Die JCdnig^Uichnisse des Midrasch^ 
hf Dr. I. Ziegler (Breslau, 1903). See especially the Hebrew sec- 
tion of this book. 

1 5: E.t p. 104. Cf. also the reading in the old editions of K'Onn, 
di. 18. 

* Gen, i?., 59 s. * Gen, J^,, 47 «. See below, p. 84. 

102 t, P, K, I a, Cf. below, p. 223. 
D 




34 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

That such appellatives as space, or master of the 
world, are not meant to imply severance or remote- 
ness, may be seen from the following instances : " Be- 
loved are Israel, for they are called children of Space*' 
{makom)y as it is said: ''Ye are children mito the 
Lord your God."* "He who helps Israel, is as if 
he would help space" (God).' "Israel (on the waters 
of Marah) was supplicating and praying to their Father 
in Heaven, as a son who implores his father, and a 
disciple who beseeches his master, saying unto him: 
Master of the world, we have sinned against thee, 
when we murmured on the sea."* Even the term 
strength, by which God is sometimes called,^ occurs in 
such connections as: "When Israel does the will of 
God, power is added to strength."* In the Baby- 
lonian Talmud one of the most frequent appellations 
of God is "the merciful one," and it is worth noticing, 
that this term is mostly used in Halachic or casuistic 
discussions, which proves, by the way, how little in the 
mind of the Rabbis the Law was connected with hard- 
ness and chastisement. To them it was an effluence 
of God's mercy and goodness.* 

1 A6otk, 3 18. * See Si/rg, 22 h, 

* MechiUa^ 45 b. See Aruch^ t.y. *VTX See below, p. 336. 
« Mechilta, 48 b, Skabbatk^ 87 b, 

ft See P, K.t 166 a and b, Cf. Kohut's Arnch^ s.y. bia See below, 
p. 239. 

* See references of Kohut's Aruch, s.y. Dm. In Tractate PesaMm 
alone it occurs aboat forty-one times, bat always in Halachic oontio- 
Tersies. 



GOD AND THE WORLD 35 

Eager, however, as the Rabbis were to establish this 
€X>mmunion between God and the world, they were , 
always on their guard not to permit him to be lost in j 
the world, or to be confused with man. Hence the 
marked tendency, both in the Targumim and in the 
Agadah, to explain away or to mitigate certain ex-^ 
pressions in the Bible, investing the deity with corporeal 
qualities. The terms Shechinah and Memra in the 
former are well known, and have been treated of by 
various scholars.^ As to the Agadah, we find the gen- ; 
eral rule applied to the Bible, that the Scriptures only ; 
intended "to make the ear listen to what it can hear"; 
or as it is elsewhere expressed, " to soothe the ear (so 
as to make it listen to) what it can hear," which might 
be taken as implying a tendency towards mitigating 
corporeal terms.' This tendency may also be detected 
in the interpretation of the Rabbis given in God's 
answer to Moses* question, "What is His name" 
(Exod. 3 13). " The Holy One, blessed be he, said 
to Moses, Thou wantest to know my name? I am 
called according to my deeds. When I judge the 
creatures I am named Elohim, when I wage war 
against the wicked I am named Zebaoth, when I sus- 
pend (the punishment of) the man's sins, I am named 

1 See Schflrer, i 14T, note 38, about the literature on this point. 
Hie term rD'*3V is very frequent in the Ta/i^jid and Midrashim ; see 
Kohnf s Aruch^ s.y. pV. Less frequent is *^131. Cf. Landau (as 
above), pp. 47 stq, and p. 53 ; Bacher, Terminologie 2 as. 

* ^. iP. A^., I, c. 2, niTO yh, i 14. See Reifmann, "H"! SVO, p. 31 1 
Bacher, TtrminoUgie, i s. 



36 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

El Shadai, and when I have mercy with my world, I 
am named by the tetragrammaton*^ ^ The words, 
"The Lord is a man of war" (Exod. 15 3), are con- 
trasted with (Hos. II 9) "For I am God, and not 
man," and explained to mean that it is only for the 
love of Israel that God appears in such a capacity.' In 
another passage we read that the divine presence never 
came down, and Moses never went up to heaven, as 
it is said, "The heavens are the Lord's, and the earth 
hath he given to the children of men." ' 

This last passage is not only in contradiction with 
some of the quotations given in the foregoing pages, 
but is also directly opposed to another Agadic inter- 
pretation of this very verse from the Psalms, according 
to which the line drawn between heaven and earth was 
removed by the Revelation, when God came down 
on Mount Sinai (Exod. 19 19), and Moses was com- 
manded to come up unto the Lord {ibid. 24 1).* This 
objection of the Rabbis — though only feebly expressed 
— to take the scriptural language in its literal sense must 
be attributed to a polemic tendency against rising secta- 
rianism, which, laying too much stress on the corporeal 
terms in the Bible, did not rest satisfied with humanis- 
ing the Deity, but even insisted on deifying man. To 
the former, that is, the humanising of the Deity and 

* See Exod, ^.36. 

* Meckiita, 38 b. See also below, p. 44, note I. 
s SuAkahf 5 a. See Bacher, Ag. Tan., I ui. 

* Exod, R., 12 a. 



GOD AND THE WORLD 37 

endowing him with all the qualities and attributes which 
tend towards making God accessible to man, the Rab- 
bis could not possibly object. A great number of 
scriptural passages, when considered in the light of 
Rabbinic interpretation, represent nothing else but a 
record of a sort of ImUatio hominis on the part of God. 
He acts as best man at the wedding of Adam and 
Eve;* he motuns over the world like a father over 
the death of his son when the sins of ten generations 
make its destruction by the deluge imminent ; ' he visits 
Abraham on his sick-bed ; ' he condoles with Isaac after 
the death of Abraham;* he "himself in his glory'* is 
occupied in doing the last honours to Moses, who 
would otherwise have remained unburied, as no man 
knew his grave ; * he teaches Torah to Israel, and to 
this very day he keeps school in heaven for those who 
died in their infancy ; • he prays himself, and teaches 
Israel how to pray;" he argues with Abraham the 
case of Sodom and Gomorrah not only on equal 
terms, but tells him. If thou thinkest I acted unworth- 
ily, teach me and I will do so.* Like man he also feels, 
so to speak, embarrassed in the presence of the conceited 
and overbearing, and says, I and the proud cannot 
dwell in the same place.* Nay, it would seem that the 

^ Gin. ^., 8 8 18. Cf. Commentaries and ibi€L 18 1. 

■ Sec Gen. R.^ 27 4. « Gen. ^., 8 u. * Gen, R., iHd. 

* See Gen, R., ibid., and Sota^ 9 b. 

* Exod. i?., 28 6, and Abodah Zarah, 3 b. 

' See Berachoikt 7 a, and Rosh Hashanah, i*j b. 

* See Tan. B.^li»a, * Sotah^ 5 b. 



38 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

Rabbis felt an actual delight in heaping human qual- 
ities upon God whenever opportunity is offered by 
Scripture. Thus with reference to (Exod. 15 1) "I 
will sing unto the Lord," the Rabbis say, "I will 
praise him," that he is terrible, as it is said, "A great 
God, a mighty and a terrible " (Deut. 10 17). "I will 
praise him," that he is wealthy, as it is said, "The 
earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof" (Ps. 24 
1). "I will praise him," that he is wise, as it is said, 
"For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth 
cometh knowledge and imderstanding" (Prov. 2 «)• 
"I will praise him," that he is merciful, as it is said, 
"The Lord, the Lord God, is merciful and gracious'' 
(Exod. 34 6). "I will praise him," that he is a 
judge, as it is said, "For the judgment is God's" 
(Deut. I 17). "I will praise him," that he is faithful, 
as it is said, " Know therefore that the Lord thy God, 
he is God, the faithful God" (ibid. 7 9).» 

What the Rabbis strongly objected to was the deifi- 
cation of man. Thus with reference to Exod. 6 and 
7 1, God is represented by the Rabbis as having said 
to Moses, "Though I made thee a god to Pharaoh, 
thou must not become overbearing (and think thyself 
God) ; / am the Lord." ' To Hiram, the Prince of 
Tyre, who said, "I am God; I sit in the seat of 



1 Mechilia^ 35 a, Ct MHC^ 677 seq,y about the serentj 
God, and note 12 to coL 681. CI also Saalfdd, /?<» /raAz/iW/ .Soi^MVMM^ 

^»37- 

* Tan, B,f 2,1^0. 



GOD AND THE WORLD 39 

God" (Ezek. 28 2), God is supposed by the Rabbis to 
have answered, ''Did Elijah, notwithstanding his 
reviving the dead, bringing rain, and making the fire 
to €X>me down from heaven, ever make the claim to be 
a God?" ^ Both Pharaoh and the Prince of Tyre are, 
of course, only protot)rpes of persons deified in the 
times of the Rabbis, be it Roman emperors or Jewish 
Messiahs. And it was, as we may imagine, imder the 
pressure of this controversy that the Rabbis availed 
themselves of any appellatives for God, as well as of 
any ail^orical interpretation, that served as a check 
against this deification tendency. 

It would, however, be a mistake to think that the 
Rabbis attached to appellatives for God, such as 
Shechinah, or Word, the same meaning which they 
have received in Hellenistic schools, or in the theology 
of the Fathers of the Church. Hallam somewhere 
quotes the shrewd remark of Montaigne, to the effect 
that we should try a man who says a wise thing, for 
we may often find that he does not imderstand it. 

I am not quite certain as to the wisdom of the alle- 
gorical method and the various appellatives for God, 
some of which may perhaps have been of Hellenistic 
origin. But I am convinced that the Rabbis hardly 
understood the real significance and the inevitable con- 
sequences of their use. 

Indeed, it soon must have become clear to the 

^ Tmm,fV(WrSl^ 7. CL JeUinek, B^ih Hammidrash, 5, p. iii and 
latrodacdon. 



40 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

Rabbis that the allegorising method could be turned 
into a very dangerous weapon against the very principle 
which it was meant to defend. Not only was it largely 
used by the adversaries of the synagogue, as a means 
for justifying the abolition of the Law, but the terms 
which were accepted in order to weaken or nullify 
anthropomorphic expressions were afterwards hyposta- 
tised and invested with a semi-independent existence, 
or personified as the creatures of God. This will explain 
the fact that, along with the allegorising tendency, there 
is also a marked tendency in the opposite direction, 
insisting on the literal sense of the word of the Bible, 
and even exaggerating the corporeal terms.* 

* Sec Weiss, T^T. i in. Weber (pp. 153 and 179) makes a diflfer- 
ence between the Targumim and the later Rabbinism. This theory 
is based chiefly on the assumption of the great antiquity of the 
former, which is still doubtful. A good essay on the various heresies 
which the Rabbis had to face, and which would, as I believe, throw 
much light on the inconsistencies of the Targumim and of the Rabbit 
concerning the question of anthropomorphism, is still a desideratum. 
That too much Targum only served to increase the danger, may be seen 
from the following extract from the A///G, (Ms.), to Exod. 24 10, 

vi-flxn p)ct nnnon h^ tnrb^ n 'ok *b)inff' rh^ nn iimT 
11m nnrw p» e|-iasi spro m m u r^oan hyi ♦^ma nt nnl 
nitii T)Z"p7rff ♦ *ina m m bmtn itr6j« rr tttti bmr rhK nn? 
ppno m nn htrwn Kr6K nrau ip^ rr wn cann ♦mnj vml 
hw\ n3-3«n -p^ rvehv ijo mm» \ii:^rvff Pinaov «• r. EUerer said : 

He who translates a verse (from the Bible) literally is a liar. He who 
adds to it commits blasphemy. For instance, if he translated (the 
above-quoted verse), And they saw the God of Israel, he spoke an 
untruth ; for the Holy One, blessed be he, sees, but is not seen. But 
if he translated. And they saw the glory of the Shechina of the God of 
Israel, he commits blasphemy, for he makes three (a Trinity), namdy. 



^amm 



GOD AND THE WORLD 41 

We have unfortunately no sufficient data enabling 
us to form a real picture of this great theological struggle. 
What we perceive is rather confusion and perplexity. 

The following fragment from a controversy between 
a Jew and a certain heretic will perhaps give us some 
idea of this confusion. We read ui Exod. 24 1, "And 
unto Moses he said, Come up to the Lord." Said 
the heretic to the Rabbi, "If it was God who called 
Moses, it ought to be : And unto Moses he said. Come 
up to mey The Rabbi answers that by the word 
he is meant the angel Metatron who commanded Moses 
to ascend to God, the Rabbi identif)dng this angel, 
"whose name is like that of his master," with the 
angel spoken of in chapter 23'20, 21. What follows now 
is not quite clear, but we see the heretic claiming quite 
logically worship for Metatron (and perhaps also the 
power of forgiving sin), whilst the Rabbi retorts, 
"Faith in thy hands! We have not accepted him 
even as a messenger, as it is written, ' If thy presence 

Glocy^ Shechina, and God." See Das Fragmenteniargum by M. Gins- 
burger, p. 45, where this rendering of Exod. 24 is to be found. See 
abo Kiddushin^ 49 a, and Tosephta Megillah, p. 228, and commentaries, 
and cL Berliner Targum, 2, pp. 87 and 1 73. Our version proves that the 
objectioiis were of a dogmatic nature. The fact that K'H is introducing 
it makes me believe that the passage may have been in the K'Hl pifi 
(perhaps c. 45). In the older Jewish literature, the Christians are 
never introduced as Trinitarians. Instructive is also the fact that soma 
Genizah fragments of the Passover Hagada have after the words 

rr^ T ^ ¥h, the addition naxi ^ bv mh, loacra ri^ph i6n. 

Ct the phrase *raxi "B hv D)3lt a. the Jewish Quarterly Review, 
▼oL X (1897-8}, p. 51. 



42 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

go not (with us), carry us not up hence*" (Exod. 
33 16). The heretic thus urges logical consistency and 
is ready to develop a whole theology from a doubtful 
interpretation ; the Rabbi is less logical, but merely 
insists upon the fact that Israel refused to give angels 
divine honours or divine prerogatives.* 

The fact is that the Rabbis were a simple^ naive 
people, filled with a childlike scriptural faiUi, neither 
wanting nor bearing much anal)rsis and interpretation. 
" Common sense," is somewhere aptly remarked, " tells 
us what is meant by the words * My Lord and my 
God'; and a religious man upon his knees requires 
no commentator." More emphatically the same 
thought is expressed in the quaint answer of a med- 
iaeval Rabbi, who, when asked as to the meaning 
(philosophic or mystic) he was wont to give to his prayers, 
replied, "I pray with the meaning of this child.*" 
Such simple people, however, were unequal to the 
task of meeting on the battlefield of speculation the 
champions of the Alexandrine schools. The aperfu 
stigmatising the Rabbis as the 'Virtuosi" of religion 
is well known and has in it some appearance of truth. 
A single letter, or a mere suflSx or prefix, or a particle, 
would suffice for the Rabbis to derive therefrom, if not 
exactly a new custom or law, at least to give the latter 

^ See Sanhedriftt 38 by and commentaries (also Edeles). The teit 
is somewhat corrupt. Cf. Rabbinowicz, Varia LecHonts a, /. and the 
commentary of R. Chananel a, L Cf. Joel, Blicke, 1 12T ; Bacher, Ag» 
Am., 3 TOO, and Jacob, Im Namen GotUs, p. 41, n. i. 

< See Respoma of R. Isaac b. Shesheth, § 157. 



GOD AND THE WORLD 43 

some foundation in the Scriptures. But the aper^u 
would have more point and be more complete, if 
we would add that the antagonists of the Rabbis were 
just as expert "virtuosi" in dogmas and theosophies. 
What to the Rabbis was a simple . adjective, a rever- 
ential expression, or a poetical metaphor, turned in 
the hands of the Hellenists into a new deity, an seon, or - 
a distinct emanation. The Rabbis felt perplexed, and 
in their consternation and horror went, as we have 
seen, from one extreme to the other.* 

The consternation felt by the Rabbis, at the thought 
of possible consequences, may perhaps be realised * 
by the following passage with allusion to Exod. 19 2: 
"The Holy One, blessed be he, appeared to them on 
the (Red) Sea as a mighty warrior (Exod. 15 3) and 
revealed himself on Mount Sinai as a scribe teaching 
Torah, and was also visible to them in the days of 
Daniel, and as Elder teaching Torah (Dan. 7 9) he 
(therefore) said to them, 'Think not on account of these 
manifold appearances, there are many deities. I am 
the Lord thy Gkxi. The Gkxl of the Sea is the God of 
the SinaL' The warning comes from God himself and 
shows the danger of the situation; indeed, it had be- 
come so threatening that even such innocent rhetorical 
exclamations as *My God, my God, why hast thou 
forsaken me?* (Ps. 22 2) were apparently subject 

^ The difference between the Rabbi and the Hellenist in this respect 
may perhaps be reduced to this : The Rabbi may speak of the Dibbur 
or the Memra, but means God ; the Hellenist may speak of God, but 
means the Dibbur or the Mimra. 



44 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

to misinterpretation, so that it was necessary to em- 
phasise on this occasion, too, the God of the Red Sea 
is the Gkxl of the Revelation." * 

Even more striking is the following Rabbinic homfly 
on Ezod. 3 7, ^'And the Lord said I have surely seen 
the affliction of my peoi^e": "God said to Moses, 
' Thou seest only one sight, but I see two sights. Thou 
seest them coming to Mt. Sinai and receiving there my 
Torah ; but I see also their making the golden calL 
When I shall come to Sinai to give them the Torah, I 
will come down with my chariot of four chayoih 
(Ezek. I 5-10), from which they will abstract one (of 
the four — the ox or the calf), by which they will pro- 
voke me.' " * 

Amidst all these embarrassments, contradictions^ 
confusions, and aberrations, however, the great prin- 
ciple of the Synagogue, that worship is due only to 
God, remained untouched. Into the liturgy none of 
the stranger appellations of God were admitted. 
''When man is in distress," sa]^ R. Judah, ''he does 
not first call upon his patron, but seeks admittance to 
him through the medium of his servant or his ag^ ; 

iSccP.A^i09^; Af.T^22U. TDS '*nt «pO BTS '^ d.P.R. 
lOO b and loi a, and note 31 to the laft page. See alio Tan, B^zmk, 
QL /Tutari, ed. Caisel, 313, note I. 

* See Exod, R,, 33; 42 •» text and reference! given there In the 
commentariet. Cf. Ezek. i t and 10 ; Fk 106 i» and ». See alio 
Nachmanides to Exod. 18 i^who gives foller and better reading! of the 
passage in the Midrash. CX Bacher, Ag. PaL, I tt. Abovt the 
notion that God came down from Mt. Sinai with the chariol, tee 
P.fC,t 107 b. 



GOD AND THE WORLD 45 

but it is dijBFerent with God. Let no man in misfortune 
cry either unto Michael or Gabriel, but pray unto me 
(God), and I will answer him at once, as it is said: 
'Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall 
be delivered'" (Joel 3 5).* "Come and see," says 
another Rabbi, "that in the portions of the Scriptures 
treating of sacrifices, no other name of God is ever 
used than the Tetragranmiaton. This is done so as 
not to give room for heretical interpretations," * which 
might claim divine worship for some other being. 
When the Rabbis fixed the rule, that no form of bene- 
diction is permissible in which the name of God does 
not occur,* they were probably guided by the same 
principle. At a certain period in history, when the 
heresy of the new sects was threatening to aflFect larger 
classes, the Rabbis even enforced the utterance of the 
Tetragrammaton in every benediction, lest there should 
be some misunderstanding to whom prayer is directed.^ 

^/rr. Beraehoikt 13 «. 

* See Sifre^ 54 a. Cf. 71 K,^ 3 €. See Bacher, Ag, Tan, I 4». 
' Beradkolkt 40 b. 

* See Touphia Berachotk^ % ecL Schwartz, and notes (Graetz, (?#- 
ukitkU^ 3 «m). See alio Jacobs Im Namen GotUs^ p. 174. 



I 

V 



m 

GOD AND ISRAEL 

We saw in the preceding chapter that neither the 
terms of space nor heaven as api^ied to God, nor the 
imaginary descriptions placing his particular abode on 
high, meant for the Rabbis remoteness from the world. 
Whatever the fauljs of the Rabbis were, consistency 
was not one of them. Neither speculation nor folklore 
was ever allowed to be converted into rigid dogma. 
As it was pointed out, when the Rabbis were taught 
by experience that certain terms meant for superficial 
proselytes only a reflex of their former deities, they not 
only abandoned them for a time, but substituted for 
them even the Tetragrammaton itself; a strong measure, 
taken in contradiction to ancient custom and tradition, 
and thus proving how anxious the Rabbis were that 
nothing should intervene between man and God. 

We shall now proceed to show how still more intimate 
and close was the relation maintained and felt between 
God and Israel. He is their God, their father, their 
strength, their shepherd, their hope, their salvation, 
their safety; they are his people, his children, his 
first-bom son, his treasure, dedicated to his name, 
which it is sacrilege to profane. In brief, there is 
not a single endearing epithet in the language, such as 

46 



GOD AND ISRAEL 47 

brother, sister, bride, mother, lamb, or eye, which is 
not, according to the Rabbis, applied by the Scriptures 
to express this intimate relation between God and his 
people.* Gkxi is even represented by the Rabbis as 
saying to Moses, ''As much as thou canst exalt this 
nation (Israel) exalt it, for it is as if thou wert exalting 
me. Praise it as much as thou canst, glorify it as much 
as thou canst, for in them I will be glorified, as it is 
said, 'Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will 
be glorified'" (Isa. 49 3).' "What is his (Gkxi's) 
name? El Shaddai, Zebaoth. What is the name of 
his son? Israel!"* Nay, more, though a king of 
flesh and blood would resent to hear one of his subjects 
arrogating his title (as Caesar Augustus), the Holy 
One, blessed be he, himself confers on Israel the names 
by which he is himself distinguished, as wise, holy, 
the chosen ones, and does not even deny them the title 
of gods, as it is written, "I have said. Ye are gods" 
(Ps. 826).* 

This intimacy of relationship is reciprocal. "He 
(God) needs us even as we need him" was a fa- 

1 This feature ii so strongly represented in the Rabbinic literature 
that I must satisfy myself with a few general references. See T, JC.^ 
4^c\ MtckiliOt 28 a, 29 bf 41 b, 43 3, 44 a^ 57 a, 62 b; P. JC^ i a,l b, 
4 a, 4 b, 47 a, 47 b, 50 a, 104 a, 157 a ; Gen, R.^ 81 ; Exod, H,, 15, 20, 
«7. 33. 52 ; ^^' ^'> 2. Sec also Si/re, 68 «, apm pnT OrOK -33 
TOn ptn bu\ * * * GVHK MKnpW, The various Midrashim as well as 
the Targum to the Song of Songs is permeated by the same tendency. 
Gf. Elbogen, Reiigionianchauungen tier PharisHer, p. 60 sfq. 

*Lev.R^2h, *SttP.R.,iSa, Cf. />. A'., 4 ^. 

« See if. 7*., 21 s; £xpd, R,, 8 1. 



48 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

vourite axiom with certain mj^tics. In the language 
of the Rabbis we should express the same sentiment 
thus, '' One Gkxi through Israel, and one Israel through 
God. They are his selected people, and he is their 
selected portion." * " God is the help and the support of 
all mankind, but still more of Israel." "They recog- 
nised in him the King, and he recognised in them the 
masters of the world. . . . Israel declares (his imity) 
in the words, *Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, 
the Lord is one^ (Deut. 64); and the holy spirit 
(or word of God) proclaims their election (in the 
words), *And who is like thy people Israel, a naticm 
that is one (or alone) in the earth'" (i Chron. 17 a).* 
"He glorified them when he said, 'Israel is my son, 
even my first-bom,' whilst they sang a song unto him 
in Egypt." • Israel brought him down by their praise 
(from all the seven heavens to earth, as it is said, "And 
let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among 
them") (Exod. 25 9), and he lifted them by his praise 
above [to the heaven], as it is said, "That the Lord 
thy God will set thee on high above" (Deut. 28 1).* 
" Blessed be his (God's) name for ever," exclaims a 
Rabbi, enthusiastically, "who left those above and 
chose those below to dwell in the Tabernacle because 
of his love of Israel." • Indeed, the Holy One, blessed 

* Sifre, 134 b. 

* See Mechilta^ 36 b ; Chagigah^ 3 «» 3 ^t And pmraUelf. Cf. Bacher, 
Ag, Tan^ i 2», and Levy, Talmud, IVdrierbuck^ s. rTT&K, 3, and 
mian, • MechUta, 35 b, 

*^See Cant,, ^., 5 u. * Tan, B,,%%a, Gf. Tan, B,^%4n a and A. 



GOD AND ISRAEL 49 

be he, says to Israel, you are my flock and I am the 
shepherd, make a hut for the shepherd that he come 
and provide for you ; you are the vineyard and I am 
the watcher, make a tent for the watcher that he guards 
you ; you are the children and I am the father, — it is 
a glory for the father when he is with his children and 
a glory for the children when they are with their father ; 
make therefore a house for the father that he comes 
and dwells with his children.* 

Israel bears in common with the angels such names 
as gods, holy ones, children (of God). But God loves 
Israel more than the angels. Israel's prayer being 
more acceptable to him than the song of the angels, 
whilst the righteous in Israel are in closer contact with 
the Deity than the angels, and are consulted by them as 
to "what God hath wrought." ^ 

1 £jcod. R,, 33 s. 

s See ChuUin 91 b. Yaikut I § 890 (quotation from the Yelamdenu). 
Yalkut to Prav,, § 951, and Shabbath 8 d. Cf. also Friedmann, D^HBD), 
p. 47, to which more passages of a similar nature can be added. It 
should, however, be remarked that the rationalistic school rather 
obiected to this teaching of the inferiority of angels. Cf. SchmiedeVs 
Studien uber . . . Religionsphiloiophu^ p. 70 seq,^ and p. 78 seq* 
C£ also R. Meir ibn Gabbai*s VTlpH ITTDl^, the ten first chapters of 
the section rOSfX In general, the belief in angels was fairly maintained 
by Rabbinism throughout all its history, although it was only David 
Bilia (fourteenth century) who raised it to the importance of a dogma. 
Cf. Schechter, Studies in Judaism^ p. 203. For opposing tendencies in 
comparatiTely early times, see Exod, R,, 17 s, UK ^'^OHh Tl ^OXf\ 

naxnn r^r^^pn m ii6d ""d it onatt. See also rrai^ to this 

passage. Naturally, it was subject in the course of history to all sorts 
of interpretations, qualifications, and modifications. CL Professor 



50 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

Again, ''He who rises up against Israel rises up against 
God; hence the cause of Israel is the cause of God; 
their ally is also his." * For God suffers with them in 
their suffering and is with them in their distress.' 
Their subjection implies his subjection/ and his pres- 
ence accompanies them through their various captivities 
among the Gentiles.* Therefore their redemption is 
his redemption,* their joy is his joy,' their salvation his 
salvation,^ and their light his light.' 

Their cause is indeed so closely identified with God's 
cause that on the occasion of the great historical crisis 
at the Red Sea, God is supposed rather to resent the 
lengthy prayer of Moses, and saj^ unto him, "Where- 
fore criest thou to me? (Exod. 14 15). I need no 
asking for my children, as it is said, 'Wilt thou ask 
me concerning my children?'" (Isa. 45 u).* The 
recognition of this fatherhood is all that God wants 
from Israel. "All the wonders and mighty deeds 

BUu'i article Angelology, Occasionally, the authorities would have to 
enter their protest against such excesses as invocations addressed to 
the angels soliciting their intercession. See Kerem Ckemed^ 9 141 uq^ 
and Zunz, SynagogaU Poesie, p. 148 seq, 

^ Meckilta^ 39 ^, 39 ^ ; Sifre^ 29 b and parallels. 

* P, K.t 47 a. By Israel is also meant the individual See MiMUm^ 
17 a, 119 b, pa TIT n-Or TO^ n-QT l6n ^ pt, etc, 5. E^ p. 89. 
Cf. Sabbath, 12 b. 

* Mechilta, 16 a. 

* Si/rt, 62 b; P, IT,, 11$ b. Ct Bacher, A^, Tan^ I flsa, note 2. 
» Mechilta, 16 a. ^ L£V. P^9^ 

* /bid., 56 a, » See P. A'., 144 b, 

* See Afechilia, jo a. Cf. Num. A., 21. 



I fTI ■ 



GOD AND ISRAEL $1 

which I have done for you," says God unto Israeli 
"were not performed with the purpose of being re- 
warded (by you), but that you honour me like children 
and call me your father." ^ The filial relationship suffers 
no interference, whether for good or evil, of a third 
person between Israel and God. Israel loves him and 
loves his house, no man indeed knowing the love which 
is between Israel and their Maker. And so does the 
Holy One, blessed be he, love them. He wants to hear 
Israel's voice (as expressed in prayer), and is anxious 
for them to listen unto his voice.' According to another 
explanation (of Exod. 1415), Moses was given to under- 
stand that there was no need for his prayers, the Holy 
One by his intimate relation to Israel being almost 
himself in distress.' 

This paternal relation, according to the great major- 
ity of the Rabbis, is unconditional. Israel will be 

* £xpd, /?., 321. « Af. T., 116 1. 

s MeckiUa, 29 ^ in the name of R. 'D'S^ p TXtm. Some paraUel 
to this strong confidence in the identity of Israel's cause and God*s may 
be found in Tarioos utterances of Luther, as, " Know that God so takes 
thee to himself, that thy enemies are his enemies ** ; or, " He who 
desptMS me despises God '* ; or, ** God suffers and is despised and 
persecuted in us." And when anxiously waiting for news from the 
Diet at Augsburg, ** I know," he was overheard saying, or rather 
praying, ** that thou art our father and our God ; I am certain, there- 
fore, that thou art about to destroy the persecutors of thy children. If 
thou doest this not, then our danger is thine too. This business is 
wholly thine. We come to it under compulsion. Thou, therefore, 
defend." See the preface of the Bishop of Durham (p. xi) to the 
▼olume, Lombard Street in LenL See also Mr. Beard in his Hibbert 
LettureSf p. 87. 



$2 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

\ chastised for its sins, even more severely than other 
, nations for theirs; but this is only another proof of 
God's fatherly love. For it was only throu^ suffering 
that Israel obtained the greatest gifts from heaven,^ 
and what is still more important to note is, that it was 
affliction which "reconciled and attached the son to 
the father (Israel to God)."* "The Israelites are 
God's children even when full of blemishes/' and the 
words, "A seed of evildoers, children that are corrupt" 
(Isa. I 4), are cited as a proof that even corruption can- 
not entirely destroy the natural relation between father 
and child.' Indeed, when Isaiah received the call, 
" the Holy One, blessed be he, said imto him, ' Isaiah I 
my children are troublesome and rebellious. If thou 
dost take upon thyself to be insulted and beaten by 
my children thou wilt be sent as my messenger, not 
otherwise!' Isaiah answered, 'Yes, on this condition. 
As it is said, " I gave my back to smiters and my cheeks 
to them that plucked off the hair (Isa. 50 6)," I am 
not even worthy to carry messages to thy children.'" * 
But Elijah, the Rabbis say, who in his zeal denounced 
Israel, saying, " I have been very jealous for the Lord 
God of hosts; because the children of Israel have 
forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altais, and 
slain thy prophets with the sword" (i Kings 19 u), 

1 See Berachctkf 5 a, and Exod, R^fL, 
« Sifre, 73 b, a. M. T., 96. • St/re, 133 a, 133 6. 

* Lev, ^., 10 2 and referencea. Cf. also Bxod, /?.* 7 1^ regardiag the 
can of Motes and Aaron. 



GOD AND ISRAEL 53 

was dismissed with the answer, '^ I have no desire in thy 
prophecy"; and his prophetic office was transferred to 
the milder Elisha, the son of Shaphat, who was anointed 
in Elijah's place (19 le). Likewise is the Prophet 
Hosea rebuked for his refraining from praying for 
Israel, God sa3ring unto him, They are my beloved 
ones, the sons of my beloved ones, the sons of Abra- 
ham, Isaac, and Jacob. For this is indeed the glory 
of both patriarchs and prophets, that they are pre- 
pared to give themselves (as an atoning sacrifice) for 
Israel; as, for instance, Moses, who said in case 
God would not forgive the sin of Israel, "Blot me, I 
pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written" 
(Ezod. 23 82). Jeremiah, however, who proved him- 
self just as jealous for the glory of the son (Israel) 
as for the glory of the father (God), saying as he did, 
''We have transgressed and have rebelled: thou hast 
not pardoned" (Lam. 3 42) (thus though confessing 
Israel's guilt, still reproaching God, so to speak, for 
his declining to forgive), was rewarded by the con- 
tinuation of his gift of prophecy, as it is said, "And 
he adds besides unto them many like words" (Jer. 
36 32).* And, it is on the strength of this view of 
childship that some of the prophets pleaded with God 
on behalf of Israel. " Behold," they said to the Holy 
One, blessed be he, "thou sayest (because of their 
transgressions) they are not any longer thy children, 

1 See JlfeMUOf 2 a. See alio PtuuAim, 87 a and S. E. Z., p. 187, 
text and n ote t. 



54 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

but they are recognisable by their countenances as it 
is said, 'All that see them shall acknowledge them 
that they are the seed, which the Lord has blessed' 
(Is. 6i 9). As it is the way of the Father to be merci- 
ful with his children though they sin, so thou wilt 
have mercy with them (notwithstanding their relapses). 
This is (the meaning of the verse) : * But now, O Lord, 
thou art our father. ... Be not wroth very sore, 
O Lord, neither remember iniquity forever*" (Isa. 64 
8, 9).* Indeed, God says, after you (Israel) stood on 
the mount of Sinai and received the Torah and I 
wrote of you that I love you ; and since I loved you, 
how could I hate you (considering that I loved you as 
children) ? ' 
The only opponent to the view of the majority re- 
' garding the paternal relation is R. Judah, who limits 
it to the time when Israel acts as children should act.* 
When R. Akiba, in a time of great distress, opened the 
public service with the formula, "Our father, our 
king, we have sinned against thee ; our father, our king, 
forgive us," he only expressed the view of the great 
majority, that Israel may claim their filial privileges 
even if they have sinned.* The formula of the daily 
confession, "Forgive us, O our Father, for we have 
sinned," points in the same direction. In fact, the 

^ Exod R.^ 46 4. 

' See Exod. R^ 32 8. Cf. G)mmentarie8 a, /. 
* Sifre^ III a and b, Cf. also 94 a and Kiddmhin^ 36 a, 
^ TaanUh, 26 b. See Rabbinowitz, Variae LecHonti^ a, /., and Baer, 
p. 119, text and commentary. Ct L6w, GtsammtlU Sckriften^ i lai. 



GOD AND ISRAEL 55 

term "Father," or "Our Father, who is in heaven," 
or " My Father, who is in heaven," is one of the most 
frequent in the Jewish Prayer Book and the subsequent 
liturgy. The latter seems to have been a favourite 
expression with the Tanna of the school of Elijah, 
who very often introduces his comments on the Bible 
(a mixture of homiletics and prayer) with the words, 
"My Father in heaven, may thy great name be blessed 
for all eternity, and mayest thou have delight in thy 
people Israel." * Another consequence of this fatherly 
relation is that Israel feels a certain ease and delight in 
the fulfilment of the Law which to slaves is burdensome 
and perplexing. For "the son who serves his father 
serves him with joy, saying, *Even if I do not entirely 
succeed (in carrying out his commandments), yet, as a 
loving father, he will not be angry with me'; whilst 
the Gentile slave is always afraid lest he may commit 
some fault, and therefore serves God in a condition 
of anxiety and confusion." ' Indeed, when Israel 
feels imeasy because of theu: having to stand in judge- 

^ See S,E^ pp. 51, 53, 83, 89, 100, no, 115, 121. The formula 
BT&VDtr ^2M occurs on p. 112 eight times. Cf. Friedmann's Intro- 
duction, p. 80. 

* Tan, ro, 19. Israel's relation to God seems only then to assume 
the aspect of slavery, when the whole nation is determined to aposta- 
tise. Then God enforces his mastership over them by the right of pos- 
session. This seems to me the meaiiing of the rather obscure passage 
in Exod. /?., 24, I, T3p na*? T^K DM Wn. Cf. iM, 3, § 6, where 
a distinction is made between the individual and the greater number 
of Israel, to the former free action being left ; this contains undoubt- 
edly a deep historical truth. See also Sifre, 112 ^. 



S6 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

ment before God, the angels say unto them, "Fear 
ye not the judgement. . . . Know ye not him ? He 
is your next of kin, he is your brother, but what is 
more, he is yoxu: father." * 

ij/. 7:.ii8it. 



IV 

ELECTION OF ISRAEL 

The quotations in the preceding chapter will sufl&ce 
to show the confidence with the Rabbis felt in the 
especially intimate relations existing between God and 
Israel. This renders it necessary to make here some 
reference to the doctrine of Israel's election by God, . 
which in fact is only another term for this special < 
relation between the two. ** To love means in fact, 
to choose or to elect." The doctrine has found no 
place in Maimonides' Thirteen Articles of the Creed, 
but still even a cursory perusal of Bible and Talmud 
leaves no doubt that the notion of the election always 
maintained in Jewish consciousness the character of at 
least an unformulated dogma.^ 

The Rabbinic belief in the election of Israel finds, 
perhaps, its dearest expression in a prayer which 
begins as follows: "Thou hast chosen us from all 
peoples; thou hast loved us and taken pleasure in us, 
and hast exalted us above all tongues; thou hast 
sanctified us by thy commandments and brought us 
near unto thy service; O our King, thou hast called 
us by thy great and holy name." These words, which 

^ See WeiM, TTT, 3 soi. Cf. Kaufmann, /. Q. ^., 2 44s. 

57 



( 



S8 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

Still breathe a certain scriptural air, are based, as may 
be easily seen, on the Biblical passages of Deut. lo 15, 
142; Ps. 149 2; and Jer. 14 27/ There was thus 
hardly any necessity for the Rabbis to give any reasons 
for their belief in this doctrine, resting as it does on 
ample Biblical authority; though, as it would seem, 
they were not quite unconscious of the difficulties which 
such a doctrine involves. Thus Moses b represented 
by them as asking God : " Why out of all the seventy 
nations of the world dost thou give me instructions 
only about Israel?" the commandments of the Torah 
being mostly addressed to the "children of Israel" 
{e.g. Exod. 3 15, 31 30, 33 5, Lev. 24 2);* whilst in 
another place we read, with reference to Deut 7 7, 
that God says to Israel, "Not because you are 
greater than other nations did I choose you, nor be- 
cause you obey my injunctions more than the nations ; 
for they (the nations) follow my commandments, 
even though they were not bidden to do it, and also 
magnify my name more than you, as it is said, 'From 
the rising of the sun, even unto the going down of the 
same, my name is great among the Gentiles'" (MaL 
I 11).* The answers given to these and similar ques- 

^ See Singer, p. 227, and Baer, p. 347. Thti is the introductory prmjer 
to the original liturgy for the festivals. In olden times the momiog 
prayer for Sabbaths began with the same prayer. See Zonz, DU 
RUuSt p. 13. The benediction over the sanctification cup on festhrab 
opens with a similar formula. 

■ See P. K^ 16 a seq, and Lev. P., 2 i. 

s Taf^ apP, 2. See also Tan. ^.,590. 



I- I r-" «•«•- 



ELECTION OF ISRAEL S9 

tions are various. According to some RabbiSi Israel's 
election was, as it would seem, predestined before the 
creation of the world (just as was the name of the 
Messiah), and sanctified unto the name of God 
even before the imiverse was called into existence.* 
Israel was there before the world was created and is 
still existing now and will continue to exist in the fu- 
ture (by reason of its attachment to God).' "The 
matter is to be compared to a king who was desiring 
to build ; but when he was digging for the purpose of 
laying the foundations, he found only swamps and 
mire. At last he hit on a rock, when he said, 'Here 
I will build.' So, too, when God was about to create 
the world, he foresaw the sinful generation of Enosh 
(when man began to profane the name of the Lord), 
and the wicked generations of the deluge (which said 
imto God, 'Depart from us'), and he said, 'How shall 
I create the world whilst these generations are certain 
to provoke me (by their crimes and sins) ? ' But when 
he perceived that Abraham would one day arise, he 
said, ' Behold, I have found the petra on which to build 
and base the world.' " The patriarch Abraham is called 
the rock (Isa. 51 1.2); and so Israel are called the 
rocks (Nimi. 33 9).* They are an obstinate race 
and their faith in God isJttk a shifting one, and, 
as a later author expresses it, if you leave them no 

^ See Gen. R^ i a and S. E^ p. 160. ^ See Tan,, rO, 12. 

s Yelamdenu quoted by the Yalkut, Num,^ f 766. Cf. Exo<L R.^ 
15 17. See also below, p. 173. 



X 



y^ 



6o SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

alternative but apostasy or crucifixion, they are cer- 
tain to prefer the latter.* "Hence the thought of 
Israel's creation preceded the creation of the world." 
According to other Rabbis, Israel's claim to the elec- 
tion is because they declared God as king on the Red 
Sea, and they said, "The Lord shall reign for ever 
and ever" (Exod. 15 I8). According to others again, 
it was on account of their having accepted the yoke 
of his kingdom on Mount Sinai.' Why did the Holy 
One, blessed be he, choose Israel? Because all the 
other nations declared the Torah unfit and refused to 
accept it, whilst Israel agreed and chose God and his 
Torah.' Another opinion maintains that it was be- 
cause of Israel's humbleness and meekness that they 
were found worthy of becoming the chosen peoj^* 
This may perhaps be connected with the view expressed 
that God's reason for the election of Israel was the 
fact that they are the persecuted ones, all the great 
Biblical characters such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, 
Moses, David, having been oppressed and especially 
chosen by God.* From another place it would seem 
that it is the holiness of Israel which made them 
worthy of the election.* It is worth noting, however, 
that the passage in which the reason of Israel's meek- 
ness is advanced concludes with the reminder that God 

1 See Exod, R., 42 9. Cf. Nachmanides to DetU, 7 7, and lee abo 
Friedmann, F^H, p. 12. 

^ See P, A% 16 d and 17 a and paralleli. 

• Num, R^ 14 10. * Tan, B,^ $9a. » See Lnf, R^2y. 

* See Si/re, 94 <> ({ 97)» but the meaning it not qoite dear. 



L •*.•»•'«?»» I* «_ 



ELECTION OF ISRAEL 6l 

says, " My soul volunteered to love them, though they 
are not worthy of it," quoting as a proof from the 
Scriptures the verse, "I will love them freely" (Hos. 
145).* This suggests that even those Rabbis who tried 
to establish Israel's special claim on their exceptional 
merits were not altogether imconscious of the insuffi- 
ciency of the reason of works in this respect, and there- 
fore had also recourse to the love of God, which is not 
given as a reward, but is oflFered freely. When an old 
Roman matron challenged R. Jose (b. Chalafta) with the 
words, " Whomsoever your God likes he brings near imto 
him (elects)," the Rabbi answered her that God indeed 
knows whom to select : in him whom he sees good 
deeds he chooses him and brings him near unto him.' 
But the great majority of the Rabbis are silent about 
merits, and attribute the election to a mere act of 
grace (or love) on the part of God. And he is repre- 
sented as having answered Moses' question cited 
above, "I give these instructions about Israel (and 
not about the nations) because they are beloved unto 
me more than all other nations ; for they are my peculiar 
treasmre, and upon them I did set my love, and them 
I have chosen."* "Praised be the Omnipresent " 
{makom)^ exclaims the Tanna of the school of Elijah, 
'^ blessed be he, who chose Israel from among all the 

1 Tan, B^$9a, 

* See Midrash Shemuel 3,^ 8 a, and Num. ^.,32, text and commen- 

ies. 



62 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

nations, and made them verily his own, and called them 
chOdren and servants imto his name . . . and all this 
because of the love with which he loved them, and the 
joy with which he rejoiced in them." * 

It must, however, be noted that this doctrine of 
election — and it is difficult to see how any revealed 
religion can dispense with it — was not quite of so 
exclusive a natiu^ as b conmionly imagined. For it 
is only the privilege of the first-bom which the Rabbis 
claim for Israel, that they are the first in God's kingdom, 
not the exclusion of other nations. A God ''who had 
faith in the world when he created it," ' who mourned 
over its moral decay, which compelled him to punish 
it with the deluge, as a father moiuns over the death 
of his son,* and who, but for their sins, longed to make 
his abode among its inhabitants,^ is not to be sup- 
posed to have entirely given up all relations with the 
great majority of mankind, or to have ceased to take 
any concern in their well-being. "Though hb good- 
ness, loving-kindness, and mercy are with Israel, his 
right hand is always stretched forward to receive aU 
those who come into the world, ... as it \& said, 
'Unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall 
swear'" (Isa. 45 23). For this confession from the 
Gentiles the Holy One is waiting.* In fact, it did not 

^ See S, E^p, 129 and p. 127. Cf. Tan, B.f 4 • a. 

* Si/re, 132 b. 

* Gen, R,^ 27 4. Cf. Sankedrin, loS tf. See ako above, p. 37. 

* P, R., 27 b and parallels. 

* See Mtckilta, -fib. CL M. 71, 100 1. 



ELECTION OP ISRAEL (^ 

escape the composers of the Liturgy that the same 
prophet by whom they established their claim to elec- 
tion called God "the King of the Gentiles" (Jer. lo 7)1 
and on this the Rabbis remark that God said to the 
prophet, "Thou callest me the King of the Gentiles. 
Am I not also the King of Israel?"* The seeming 
difference again between "I am the Lord, the God of 
aU flesh" (Jer. 32 27), and "the Lord of hosts, the 
Gad of Israel*^ (ver. 15), or between the verse "Three 
times in the year all thy males shall appear before the 
Lard God** (Exod. 23 17) and another passage en- 
joining the same law, but where God is called "the 
Lord God, the God of IsraeV* (34 23), is explained by 
the Rabbis to indicate the double relation of God to 
the world in general, and to Israel in particular. He 
is the Lord of all nations, while his name is especially 
attached to Israel.' Of more importance is the inter- 
pretation given to Deut. 6 4, "Hear, O Israel," etc 

* See Meekilta, 102 a, and Sifre^ 73 a» The text is in a rather cor* 
rapl itate. I have partly followed here the text of the MHG.^ which 
on Exod. 34 M reads : h^T * p^» ''KD f?3 hv ^3K piK pHKH ^3B HK 

7^ ^>w.^n oW lo S»3 hv -3K rrhyi nrs Kn ♦n pnun ••». 

Friedmann's suggestion (in MecAiUa, iHd,, note 156) that the original 
explanation was in \MT\ ^ (not D13BVQ) is thus confirmed, though, 
of course, the Mechilta of the compiler of the MUG, is not the 
•ame as ours. In Deut. 6 4, the same Ms. has DIMSSC 77 n&K 13 lOI'S 

-W3 *?a t6k n ^3K riar\ noio naa fhrr\ "pat ^k no bimrr rh^ 

i9ik verses taken from Jeremiah. Cf. Introduction to Ruih R,, i 1. 
CC. Mechilta, of R. Simon, p. 164. 



64 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

(the Shetna), which runs as follows: "He is our God 
by making his name particularly attached to us; but 
he is also the one God of all mankind. He is our God 
in this world, he will be the only God in the world to 
come, as it is said, And the Lord shall be Ring over 
all the earth; in that day there shall be one Lord, 
and his name one*' (Zech. 14 9).* For, "in this world, 
the creatures, through the insinuations of the evil 
inclination, have divided themselves into various 
tongues, but in the world to come they will agree with 
one consent to call only on his name, as it is said, 
*For then I will restore to the people a pure language, 
that they may all call u[X)n the name of the Lord, to 
serve him with one consent'" (Zeph, 3 o).' Thus 
the Sheffia not only contains a metaphysical state- 
ment (about the unity of God), but expresses a hope and 
belief — for everything connected with this verse has 
a certain dogmatic value — in the ultimate imiversal 
kingdom of God.' 

1 See Afechilta and Sifre, ibid, I foUow the reading of the n« Hpb 
to Deut. 6 4, which seems to me to be the best one, and is also sup- 
ported by quotations in Mss. Cf. the commentaries of Rashi, Iba 
Ezra, Nachmanides, and Bachye on this verse. See also AfeckiUa^ 44 a, 
text and note 20. 

^ Tan,t rO, 19, and Tan, B., i n d, the source of which is the 
Si/r€. See Rashi's commentary, just referred to, where also the 
in Zephaniah is cited. 

' See I^osh Hashanah, 32 ^.,and Tosefia, iHd, 213, that the 
is taken by the consent of the majority as implying 211370. Ct mlao 
below, p. 96, note 2, and p. 133, note 2. 



THE KINGDOM OF GOD (INVISIBLE) 

The concluding words of the last chapter, "The 
kingdom of God," derived from the Shema, have 
brought us to a theological doctrine described by some 
Rabbis as the very "Truth (or essence) of the Torah," * 
or as another Rabbi called it, "The 'weighty' law." 
The typical expressions in the Bible, "I am the Lord 
your God," or " I am the Lord," are also thought by 
the Rabbis to suggest the idea of the kingship.' It is 
at once the centre and the circumference of Rabbinic 
divinity. God is king and hence claiming authority; 
the king is God, and therefore the manifestation and 
assCTtion of this authority are the subject of Israel's 
prayers and solicitations. The conception has, of 
coiu:se, its origin in the Bible, in which God appears 
so often as a king with his various attributes, but it is 
the Rabbinic literature where we first meet with the 
term " kingdom of heaven," a term, as it seems, less 
expressive of an accomplished fact than of an undefined 

^ See M^llah^ i6 b, and the commentary of R. Chananel. to that 
ponge as reproduced by the Tosafoth, in Gittin, 6 b, and Menachoth^ 
32 bt which is accepted in the text here. Cf. Kohut, ArucKt s.t. rUDK. 

* See Mickilta ofR, Simon^ p. 30, and Sifre^ 19 b, 

» 65 



66 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

and indefinable ideal, and hence capable of a wider in- 
terpretation and of varying aspects. 

For our present purpose it will be best to view it 
from its two larger aspects, the invisible kingdom and 
the visible kingdom. 

The invisible kingdom is mainly spiritual, expressive 
of' a certain attitude of mind, and possessing a more 
individual character. "He who is desirous to receive 
upon himself the yoke of the kingdom of heaven let 
him first prepare his body,^ wash his hands, lay his 
Tephilin (phylacteries), read the Shema, and say his 
prayers." Should he happen to be on a journey, then, 
for the purpose of receiving the yoke of the kingdom, 
he must "stop still and direct his heart to heaven in 
awe, trembling, and devotion, and (in the thought) of 
imifying the Name, and so read the Shema** ; after 
which he may say the rest of the prayers on his way.' 
The worshipper is even bidden to dwell so long in his 
devotional attitude of mind when uttering the words 
"only one" (ITIK) as to declare God king in all the 
four comers of the world.' Conmiunion with God by 
means of prayer through the removal of aU intruding 
elements between man and his Maker, and through the 
implicit acceptance of God's imity as well as an un- 

1 Berachoth^ 14 b^ 15 a, Tbe cleanniig here hit nothing to do wkh 
priestly ablutions ; it means simply to prepare oneself in inch a way 
as to be able to concentrate all one's mind during the prayer witbonl 
any disturbance. Cf. Jer, Berackotk, 4 c, 

* Tan, *^ "f?, I. Cf. Tan. B^^iua^ text and ootet. 

* Berachoth^ 13 b. 



THE KINGDOM OP COD (INVISIBLE) 67 

conditional surrender of mind and heart to his holy 
will, which the love of God expressed in the Shema 
implies, this is what is understood by the receiving of 
the kingdom of God. ''What is the section of the 
Law where there is to be found the acceptance of the 
kingdom of heaven" to the exclusion of the worship 
of idob? ask the Rabbis. The answer given is, 
"This is the Shema.^^^ But under the word idols 
are included all other beings besides God. "Some 
nations confess their allegiance to Michael, others to 
Gabriel; but Israel chose only the Lord: as it is 
said, 'The Lord is my portion, saith my soul' (Lam. 
3 34). This is the meaning of 'Hear, O Israel,'" etc.* 
The Shema also implies the exclusion of any human 
mediator, Israel desiring, whether on earth or in 
heaven, none but God.' It is in this sense that the 
scriptural words, " there is none else beside thee " (Deut. 
435), and "The Lord, he is God, in heaven above 
and the earth beneath, there is none else " (Deut. 4 S9), 
are declared to imply kingship.^ 

What love of God means we learn from the inter- 
pretation given to the words, "And thou shalt love 
the Lord with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with 
all thy might" (Deut. 6 5). "Love God with all 
thy desires, even the evil Yezer (that is to say, 

1 Sifre, 34 ^ n> na CirOI Vyn^ b^Sp. a. Berachotk, 13 a, and Deut. 
J?., a a, THK Tl "Urfen Tl tTOr nia^D Vinn. Scc also Sifre, 80 tf , 
that this dmsion of the SJUma addresses itself to the individual, TIT7. 

* D^ui. J(.,2H. s Deia. R,<t ibid., § 33. Cf. Ag. Ber,, ch. 27. 

* Rosk Hashanah, 32 b. 



68 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

make thy earthly passions and fleshly desires instru- 
mental in the service of God), so that there may be no 
comer in thy heart divided against God." Again, 
''Love him with thy heart's last drop of blood, and be 
prepared to give up thy soul for God, if he requires it 
Love him under all conditions, both in times of bliss 
and happiness, and in times of distress and misfortune.^ 
For every measure he metes out to thee, praise and 
thank him exceedingly." * In a similar way the words, 
"To love the Lord your God" (Deut. ii 13), are 
explained to mean, "Say not, I will study the Torah 
with the purpose of being called Sage or Rabbi, or to 
acquire fortune, or to be rewarded for it in the world 
to come ; but do it for the sake of thy love to God, 
though the glory will come in the end." • It is especially 
the love of self that is incompatible with the love of 
God or with the real belief in the unity. On this 
point the mediaeval philosophers and mystics dwell 
with special emphasis, of which the following may 
serve as specimens: R. Bachye Ibn Bakudah, in his 
"Duties of the Heart": "The things detrimental to 
the (belief) in the Unity are manifold. . . . Among 
them is the disguised polytheism (or providing God 
with a companion), as, for instance, the religious hy- 
pocrisy of various kinds (being in reality worship of 

^ Si/rf, 73 a. Cf. Berachoth, 6i ^and parallels. 

* Mhhnah Berachoth, 9 6. 

* Si/rtt 79 ^, to be supplemented and corrected by the parallel, S4 k» 
Cf. Nedarim^ 62 a. See also Nachroanides* Commentary io tkg Piem- 
tateuck to Deut 6 6. See also below, p. 162. 



THE KINGDOM OP GOD {INVISIBLE) 69 

man instead of worship of God) or when man combines 
with the worship of God the devotion to his own gain, as 
it is said, ' There shall be no strange God in thee ' (Ps. 
81 10), on which our teachers remarked that it meant 
the strange god in the very body of man. . . .*' ^ R. 
Meir Ibn Gabbai (bom 1420), in commenting on 
Deut. II 13, rightly remarks, "It is clear from these 
words that he who serves God with any personal object 
in view loves none but himself, the Most High having 
no share in his service ; whilst the original design was 
that man should perform his religious duties only for 
God's sake, which alone means the establishing of the 
Unity of the Great Name both in action and in thought. 
... It is the man with such a purpose (aiming 
towards bringing about the perfect unity to the exclusion 
of all thought of self) who is called the lover of God." * 
Furthermore, R. Moses Chayim Luzzatto, a mystic of 
the seventeenth century, when speaking of the function 
of love in religion, says: "The meaning of this love is 
that man should be longing and yearning after the 
nearness of him (God), blessed be he, and striving to 
reach his holiness (in the same manner) as he would 
pursue any object for which he feels a strong passion. 
He should feel that bliss and delight in mentioning his 
name, in uttering his praises and in occupying himself 
with the words of the Torah which a lover feels towards 
the wife of his youth, or the father towards his only 

1 See ""fi Trrn nrr mnnbrr main. 

« Iffipn rrrO», Section Tirr ch. 28. 



70 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

son, finding delight in merely holding converse about 
them. . . . The man who loves his Maker with a 
real love requires no persuasion and inducement for 
his service. On the contrary, his heart will (on its 
own account) attract him to it. . . . This is indeed 
the degree (in the service of God) to be desired, to 
which our earlier saints, the saints of the Most High, 
attained to, as King David said, 'As the heart panteth 
after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, 
O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God,' 
and as the prophet said, 'The desire of our soul is to 
thy name and to the remembrance of thee' (Is. 26 8). 
This love must not be a love *dep)ending on some- 
thing,' that is, that man should not love God as his 
benefactor, making him rich and prosperous, but it 
must be like the love of a son to his father, a real 
natural love ... as it is said, 'Is he not thy 'father 
who has bought thee? '" ^ 

"Her yoke is a golden ornament," said Jesus, the 
son of Sirach, of Wisdom. He considered it as a 
thing "glorious," and invited mankind to put their 
necks under her yoke. The Rabbis likewise looked 
upon the yoke of the kingdom of God and the yoke of 
the Torah as the badge of real freedom. "And if thou 
hast brought thy neck imder the yoke of the Torah she 
will watch over thee," in both worlds.* The yoke of 
this kingdom was not felt as a burden. If the Rabbis 

1 See Lozzatto, D^ttT nS^O, Warsaw, 18S4, p. 27 6. 
< See Ecclus. 6 ao, 51 17, and 26 i (Hebrew), and ct JfTimyan Ttrmk 
2; Erudtn, ^ai and Af, T,, 2 IL 



THE KINGDOM OF GOD {INVISIBLE) 71 

had any dread, it was lest it might be removed from 
them. ''I shall not hearken unto you," said one of 
them to his disciples, who on a certain joyous occasion 
wanted him to avail himself of his legal privilege, and 
omit the saying of the Shema; "I will not remove from 
myself the yoke of the kingdom of heaven even for a 
single moment." ^ Even to be under the wrath of this 
yoke is a bliss. When one Rabbi quoted the verse from 
Ezekiel, "As I live, saith the Liord God, surely with 
a mighty hand, and with a stretched-out arm, and with 
fury poured out, will I be king over you" (20 as), 
his colleague answered to the effect. Let the merciful 
continue his wrath with us, and redeem (and reign 
over us against our will).* What the t)rpical Rabbi 
longed for was that sublime moment when the daily 
professions of a long life might be confirmed by act. 
When R. Akiba, who died the death of a martyr, was 
in the hands of his torturers, he joyfully "received 
upon himself the yoke of the kingdom of heaven (by 
reciting the Shema). When asked why he did so, he 
answered, 'All my life I have recited this verse ('And 
thou shalt love,' etc.), and have longed for the hour 
when I could fulfil it. I loved him with all my heart, 
I loved him with all my fortunes. Now I have the 
opportimity to love him with all my soul. Therefore 
I repeat this verse in joyfulness.' And thus he died." • 

1 Misknak^ BerachM^ 2 6. Cf. Rabbinowicz, Varia Lectioms a. L 
' Sanhedrin^ 105 tf. Cf. Rashi, a, L 

* See fer, Berachoth^ 14 b, rniTO means probably tortured, and 
bas to be supplied by the parallel from Babli, Berackoth^ 61 h. 



72 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

There is no indication of despair in Akiba's death, but 
also no thought of a crown of mart3n:dom awaiting him 
for this glorious act.^ He simply fulfils a command- 
ment of love, and he rejoices in fulfilling it. It is 
"a love unto death,"* suflfering no separation. 
"Though God," says Israel, "brings me into distress 
and embitters me, he shall lie betwixt my breasts," ' 
and to be always in contact with the object of his love 
is Israel's constant prayer. "Unite our hearts," 
runs an old Rabbinic prayer, "to fear thy name; 
remove us from all thou hatest, and bring us near to 
all thou lovest, and be merciful unto us for thy name's 
sake." * Even fear is only another expression with 
them for love. "I feared in my joy, I rejoiced in my 
fear, and my love prevailed over all." * 

Still more distinctly, though not more emphatically, 
is this thought of the constant imion with God and the 
constant love of God expressed in the later Jewish 
authors, with whom it takes a certain mystical turn. 
"What is the essence of love to God?" says R. Bachye 



^ The words in Aboth,., 4 7, ** Make not (of the Torah) a crowns' 
explained by R. Samuel de Ozedo, to mean the crown of the saints in 
the after-life ; any thought of reward, whether material or spiritualt 
whether in this world or in the next, being unworthy of the real 
worshipper of God. It may, of course, be questioned whether this 
was the real meaning of the Tanna's saying ; but it is highly charac- 
teristic of the feelings of the Talmudical Jew in this respect. 

* Afechilta, 37 a. 

* See Shabbath^ 8S ^, on the interpretation of Song of Songs I is. 
Cf. Cant. R, to this verse. 

^Jer. Berachoth^ *] d. * See 5. £^ p. 5. 



THE KINGDOM OF GOD (INVISIBLE) 73 

Ibn Bakudah mentioned above. ** It is the longing of 
the soul for an immediate union with him, to be 
absorbed in his superior light. For the soul, being a 
simple spiritual substance, is naturally attracted towards 
spiritual beings. And when she becomes aware of any 
being that could give her added strength and light, she 
devises means how to reach it, and clings to it in her 
thought . . . longing and desiring after it. This is the 
aim of her love. . . . And when the soul has realised 
God's omnipotence and his greatness, she prostrates 
herself in dread before his greatness and glory, and re- 
mains in this state till she receives his assurance, when 
her fear and anxiety cease. Then she drinks of the cup 
of love to God. She has no other occupation than his 
service, no other thought than of him, no other intent 
than the accomplishment of his will, and no other 
utterance than his praise. If he deal kindly with her 
she will thank him, if he bring affliction on her she will 
submit willingly, and her trust in God and her love of 
God will always increase. So it was told of one of the 
saints that he used to rise up in the night and say: 
My God, thou hast brought upon me starvation and 
penury. Into the depth of darkness thou hast driven 
me, and thy might and strength hast thou taught me. 
But even if they bum me in fire, only the more will I 
bve thee and rejoice in thee. For so said the prophet, 
'And thou shalt love thy God with all thy heart.'" * 

I w% n rami -w rroshn mnn of one of the exiles from 

Sptin— who WM ezpoted by the captain of the vestel, in which he 



74 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

R. Eliezer of Worms writes to the eflFect : The meaning 
of this love is that the soul is full of the love of God 
and attached by the bonds of love in joyfulness and 
gladness of the heart. He is not one who serves his 
Master under compulsion. His love is burning in his 
heart urging him to serve God, and he rejoices so much 
to accomplish the will of the Creator even if they 
would seek to prevent him from it. . . . He does not 
serve him for his own profit or for his own glory. He 
says to himself, " How, was I chosen and created to be 
a servant to the King of Glory, I, who am despised 
and rejected of men, I, who am to-day here and to- 
morrow in the grave?" When the soul sinks in the 
depths of awe, the spark of the love of the heart breaks 
out in flames and the inward joy increases ... the 
men of divine wisdom think with joy of the heart of 
accomplishing the will of their Creator, of doing all his 
commandments with all their hearts. Such lovers think 
not of the pleasures of the world, nor are they con- 
cerned in the idle pastimes of their wives and families. 
They desire only to accomplish the will of God and to 
lead others to righteousness, to sanctify his name and 
to deliver up his soul for the sake of his love as Abraham 

had fled with his family, on a deserted island — something similar is 
reported. When his wife died from exhaustion, and his two duldren 
perished by famine, and he himself was in a fainting state, he o^ 
claimed: *'0 Lord of the world, great are the afflictions thoa halt 
brought upon me, tempting me to leave the faith. But thou knowcst 
that I shall not soWe thy covenant (with us) until demth,** 



THE KINGDOM OP COD {INVISIBLE) 75 

did. . . . They exalt not themselves, they speak no idle 
word, they see not the face of woman, they hear their 
reproach and answer not. All their thoughts are with 
their God. They sing sweet songs to him, and their 
whole frame of mind is glowing in the fire of their love 
to him.^ An anonjrmous author (probably about the 
same period) says, "Those who believe that works are ' 
the main thing are mistaken. The most important 
matter is the heart. Work and words are only intended 
as preparatory actions to the devotion of the heart. 
The essence of all the commandments is to love God 
with all the heart. The glorious ones {i.e. the angels) 
fulfil none of the 613 commandments. They have 
neither mouth nor tongue, and yet they are absorbed 
in the glory of God by means of thought." ' R. Meir 
Ibn Gabbai (quoted above) expresses the same thought 
in words to the effect: The love of the Only Name 
forms the highest attainment (in the scale) of the service 
of the Sanctuary. For the perfect adoration worship 
demanded of the true worshipper is the service of the 
Unity, that is, the imification of the glorious and the 
Only Name. But the essence of Love is the true 
Unity, and the true Unity is what is termed Love. . . . 
And behold, the soul comes into the body from the abode 

1 Sec R. Elicier of Wonns, naiKn ttHW rpr\ and Dn-Dm "TfiD, 
Firma, § 300. The book TIpTi is a casuistic book on questions of the 
Law. See also Dr. Gfldemann, Cuiturgeschichte, i leo. 

* Commnnicated by Dr. Giidemann, Culturgeschichte^ I 100, from a 
Munich Ms., D^m HfiO, emanating, as it seems, from the Franco- 
Gennan acbooL 



I 



76 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

of Love and Unity, therefore she is longmg for their 
realisation and by loving the Beloved One (God), she 
maintains the heavenly relations as if they had never 
been interrupted through this earthly existence.^ 

These instances, which could be multiplied by nu- 
merous other extracts from the later devotional Hterar 
ture and hymnology, suffice to show that there are 
enough individualistic elements in Judaism to satisfy 
all the longings of the religionist whose bent lies to- 
wards mysticism. And just as every Israelite *' could 
always pour out his private griefs and joys before 
him who fashioneth the hearts," so was he able to 
satisfy his longing for perfect communion with his God 
(who is 'nigh to all them who call upon him') by 
means of simple love, without the aid of any forcible 
means. 

It must, however, be remarked that this satisfying 
the needs of anybody and everybody is not the higgles! 
aim which Judaism set before itself. Altogether, one 
might venture to express the oi^nion that the nam 
fashionable test of determining the worth of a religioo 
by its capability to supply the various demands of the 
great market of the believers has something low and 
mercenary about it. Nothing less than a good old 
I honest heathen pantheon would satisfy the crazes and 
I cravings of our present pampered humanity, with its 
pagan reminiscences, its metaphysical confusion of 

* WTpn rrSO, Section "nrT cb. 28b ^IPUILI TTHl TCTJO rtWR 

Tar» inpm mn ^rmicn 



■MhwMi*«^ 



THE KINGDOM OP GOD (INVISIBLE) 77 

languages and theological idiosyncrasies. True religion 
is above these demands. It is not a Jack-of-all-trades, 
meaning monotheism to the philosopher, pluralism to 
the crowd, some mysterious Nothing to the agnostic, 
Pantheism to the poet, service of man to the hero- 
worshipper. Its mission is just as much to teach the 
world that there are false gods as to bring it nearer to 
the true one. Abraham, the friend of God, who was 
destined to become the first winner of souls, began his 
career, according to the legend, with breaking idols, 
and it is his particular glory to have been in oppo- 
sition to the whole world.^ Judaism means to convert- 
the world, not to convert itself. It will not die in 
order not to live. It disdains a victory by defeating 
itself in giving up its essential doctrines and its most 
vital teaching. It has confidence in the world; it 
hopes, it prays, and waits patiently for the great day 
when the world will be ripe for its acceptance. 

Nor is the individual — the pet of modem theology — 
with his heartburnings and mystical longings, of such 
importance that Judaism can spend its whole strength 
on him. De Wette was certainly guilty of a gross 
exaggeration when he maintained ''that all mysticism 
tends to a more refined lust, to a feasting upon the 
feelings" — something like our conceited culture dandy, 
who is eaten up with the admiration of his vague de- 
nials and half-hearted affirmations. For undoubtedly 

^See (7tfii.J?.,38it,tiid42i(theezpUiiatioiisof R. Jttdahto'HDm); 
d Beefy ZtfAnt Ahrakams^ p. S seq. 



78 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

every religion can boast of saintly mystics who did 
much good service to their own creed and to the world 
at large. Indeed, no creed worthy of the name could 
or would ever dispense with that sprinkling of mystics 
representing the deeper elements of saintliness and re- 
ligious delicacy. But they were of little use either to 
themselves or to the world when they emancipated 
themselves from the control of the law. For it cannot 
be denied that the mystic has not always shown himself 
very trustworthy in his mission. Instead of being ab- 
sorbed by God, he has absorbed God in himself. His 
tendency towards antinomianism, and to regard law and 
works as beneath him, is also a sad historic fact. But 
the worst feature about him is his egoism, the king- 
dom of God within him never passing beyond the 
limits of his insignificant self, who is the exclusive 
object of his own devotions. The Rabbis often speak 
of the reward awaiting the righteous after their death 
as consisting, not in material pleasures, but in feeding 
on, or revelling in, the dinne glorj'.^ But such a vision 
"of the blissfulncss of the spirit" is wisely confined to 
the next world, when the Great Sabbath will break 
upon us, when all things will be at rest. In this world, 
"the world of activity," the righteous have no such 
peace; they have to labour and to suffer with their 
fellow-creatures; and even such a sublime quietism as 
revelling in God may, without strong control, too easily 
degenerate into a sort of religious epicureanism. It 

^ See Berackotkt 17 a and paraUeli. 



THE KINGDOM OP GOD {INVISIBLE) 



79 



wotild seem as though it were with an eye to such 
" idle spirituality," that with reference to Deut. 6 5, 
" And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy 
heart," the Rabbis make the remark, " I know not in 
which way they should love the Holy One, blessed be 
he," therefore the Scripture continues, "And these 
words which I command thee this day, shall be in 
thine heart " (Deut. 6 e), which means, " Place these 
words upon thy heart, for through them thou wilt learn 
to know the Holy One, blessed be he, and cleave unto 
his ways." ^ And " these ways," as we shall see, con- 
cern this world. The best control is thus to work to- 
wards establishing the visible kingdom of God in the 
present world. This, the highest goal religion can 
strive to reach, Judaism never lost sight of. It always 
remained the cherished burden of its most ardent 
prayers and the object of its dearest hopes. 

1 See Sifre, 74 a. 



VI 



THE VISIBLE KINGDOM (UNIVERSAL) 

The visible kingdom may be viewed from two aspects, 
national and universal. An attempt will be made to 
give the outlines of these Aspects as they are to be 
traced in Rabbinic literature. 

"Before God created the world," we read in the 
Chapters of R. Eliezer, " there was none but God and 
his great name." The great name is the tetragram- 
maton, the name expressive of his being, the '^I am.** 
All other names, or rather attributes, such as Lord, 
Almighty, Judge, Merciful, indicative of his relation 
to the world and its government, had naturally no 
meaning before the world was created. The act of 
creation again is a manifestation of God's holy will 
and goodness; but it requires a responsive goodness 
on the part of those whom he intends to create. For 
"whatever the Holy One, blessed be he, created in 
his world, he created but for his ^ory, for it is said, 
Every one that is called by my name : for I have created 
him for my glory. I have formed him; yea, I have 
made him (Is. 437), and again it is said. The Laid 
shall reign for ever and ever (Exod. 15 1«)." "The 
Lord has made everything for himself" (Prov. 16 4), 

So 



THE VISIBLE KINGDOM (UNIVERSAL) 8l 

and heaven and earth, angels and planets, waters and 
herbs and trees and birds and beasts, all join in the 
great chorus of praise to God. But the attribute of 
kingship apparently does not come into full operation 
before the creation of man. Hence, " when the Holy 
One, blessed be he, consulted the Torah as to the 
creation of the world, she answered, 'Master of the 
world (to be created), if there be no host, over whom 
will the king reign, and if there be no peoples praising 
him, where is the glory of the king?' The Lord of the 
world heard the answer, and it pleased him." * 

To effect this object, the angels already in existence 
did not suflSce. "When God had created the world," 
one of the later Midrashim records, "he produced on 
the second day the angels with their natural inclination 
to do good, and an absolute inability to commit sin. 
On the following days he created the beasts with their 
exclusively animal desires. But he was pleased with 
neither of these extremes. 'If the angels follow my 
will,' said God, 'it is only on account of their in- 
ability to act in the opposite direction. I shall, there- 
fore, create man, who will be a combination of both 
angel and beast, so that he will be able to follow either 
the good or the evil inclination.'" ' His evil deeds will 

^ See P, R, E^ ch. 3. The thought of the world, and especially man, 
ha:riiig been created for God's glory, is very common in Jewish literature. 
CL A, H. N^ 67 b, text and notes at the end; Tan, tVWrOf i ; Exod, 
E. ly: 1 and Af. T., 148 6. 

* Quoted in the p^, S 53* Ct Tan. B,, Introduction, 76 6. Cf. 
bdow, p. 261, note i. 

o 



82 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

place him below the level of the brutes, whilst his noble 
aspirations will raise him above the angels. 

In short, it is not slaves, heaven-bom though they 
may be, that can make the kingdom glorious. God 
wants to reign over free agents, and it b their obedience 
which he desires to obtain. Man becomes thus the 
centre of creation, for he is the only object in which the 
kingship could come into full expression. Hence it is, 
as it would seem, that on the sixth day, after God had 
finished all his work, including man, that God became 
king over the world.* 

Adam the First invites the whole creation over which 
he is master "to clothe God with majesty and strength," 
and to declare him King, and he and all the other beings 
join in the song, " The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with 
majesty," which forms now the substance of the 93d 
Psalm.' God can now rejoice in his world. This is 
the world inhabited by man, and when he viewed it, 
as it appeared before him in all its innocence and 
beauty, he exclaimed, " My world, O that thou wouldst 
always look as graceful as thou lookest now." " Beau- 
tiful is the world," a Rabbi exclaims, " blessed be the 
Omnipresent who shaped it and created it by his 
word. Blessed art thou (world) in which the Holy 
One, blessed be he, is king." * 

1 5)ee Rosk Hashanak, 31 a, amming, of coime, that tb« words 
rrSr "jSoi on the second day came into the text by a clerical error. 
Cf. Rabbinowicz, Variae Lectiomes, aL A, R, N^ Appendix 76 i^ and 
the Mishna, cd. Lowe, 191 a. ^ P.X. E^ ch. II. 

* Gen, ^., 9 4. See also Exod, R^ i^n, CL abo A^mk. R^ ioi, 
that God longed to create the world. 



THE VISIBLE KINGDOM {UNIVERSAL) 83 

This State of gracefulness did not last long. The 
free agent abused his liberty, and sin came into the 
world, disfiguring both man and the scene of his 
activity. Rebellion against God was characteristic of 
the generations that followed. Their besetting sin, espe- 
cially that of the generation of the Deluge, which had 
to be wiped out from the face of the earth, was that 
they said, "There is no judge in the world," it being 
" an automaton." * They were the reverse of the faith- 
ful of later generations, that proclaimed God's govern- 
ment and kingship in the world every day.' They 
maintained that the world was forsaken by God, and 
said unto God, " Depart from us, for we desire not the 
knowledge of thy ways" (Job 21 w)." The name of 
God was profaned by its transfer to abominations 
(or idols), and violence and vice became the order of 
the day.* By these sins God was removed from the 
world in which he longed to fijc his abode, and the 
reign of righteousness and justice ceased. The world 
was thus thrown into a chaotic state of darkness for 
twenty generations, from Adam to Abraham, all of them 
continuing to provoke God.' With Abraham the light 
returned,* for he was the first to call God master 
(PTK), a name which declares God to be the Ruler of the 

^ A, R, M, 47 3 and parallels. Af. T,, I n. 
« See Af, T. iHd. 

* See Sanhedrin^ 108 a. Cf. also P, R, E,, ch. 24, with special ref- 
erence to the generation of Nimrod, who threw off the yoke of heaven. 

* See MeckilUt, 67 b. See also Pseudo-fonathan, Gen. 4 96. 

* See Abptkf 5 1, and commentaries. * See Gen, R., 3 a. 



84 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

world, and concerned in the actions of men.^ Abraham 
was also the first great missionary in the worid, the 
friend of God, who makes him beloved by his creatureSi 
and wins souls for him, bidding them, even as he bade 
his children, to keep the way of the Lord, to do 
righteousness and judgement.' It was by this activity 
that Abraham brought God again nearer to the world ; * 
or, as the Rabbis express it in another passage, which we 
already had occasion to quote : Before Abraham made 
God known to his creatures he had been only the God 
(or the king of the heavens), but since Abraham came 
(and commenced his proselytising activity) he has be- 
come also the God and the King of the earth; ^ Jacob 
also is supposed by the Rabbis to have taught his 
children before his death the ways of God, whereupon 
they received the yoke of the kingdom of heaven.* 
Hence the patriarchs (as models and propagators of 
righteousness) became, as mentioned above, the very 
throne of God, his kingdom being based upon man- 
kind's knowledge of him, and their realisation of his 
nearness.* 

But the throne of God is not seoure as long as the 
recognition of the kingship is only the possession of a 
few individuals. At the very time when the patriarch 

^ Beraehoth, 7 b. See Edeles' Commeiitarj to the punge. 

* See Sifre, 73 a and parallels. 
" P, K,, I b, and P. R,, 18 b. 

* Sifret 134 ^, where the word "pG occqib. 

* See Num, R,, 2 b. See abo Gin^ R^ 93 s and p^T^tlt, 

* See above, p. 33, 



THE VISIBLE KINGDOM (UNIVERSAL) 8$ 

was teaching righteousness, there were the entire com- 
munities of Sodom and Gomorrah committed to idolatry 
and the basest vices/ whilst in the age of Moses, Pha- 
raoh said, "Who is the Lord that I should obey his 
voice?"* The kingship is therefore imcertain until 
there was called into existence a whole people " which 
knows God," is sanctified imto his name, and devoted 
to the proclamation of his unity." "If my people," 
God says to the angels, "decline to proclaim me as 
King upon earth, my kingdom ceases also in heaven." 
Hence Israel says xmto God, " Though thou wast from 
eternity the same ere the world was created, and the 
same since the world has been created, yet thy throne 
was not established and thou wast not known ; but in 
the hour when we stood by the Red Sea, and recited a 
song before thee, thy kingdom became firmly established 
and thy throne was firmly set." * The estabUshment of 
the kingdom is indicated in the eighteenth verse of the 
Song (Shirah\ where it is said, "The Lord shall be 
king for ever and ever." But even more vital proofs 
of their readiness to enter into the kingdom, Israel gave 
on the day of "the glorious meeting" on Moimt Sinai, 
when they answered in one voice, "All that the Lord 
hath said we will do, and be obedient " (Exod. 24. 7).* 
This imconditional surrender to the will of God in- 

1 SanAedrin, 108 a and paraUels. 

« See Maimonidcs' Misknek Torah, T"n Wt E3*n» XTShTT, which 

to be a paraphrase of some Midrash. Cf. Num. ^., 2 s. 
* See Agadatk Shir Hashirim^ pp. 1 1, 53. 
^ ^fot Exod, R^ 2l\. ^ Set P. IT,,!'; a. 



86 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

vested Israel, according to the Rabbis, with a special 
beauty and grace. ^ And by the manifestation of the 
knowledge of God through the act of the revelation 
the world resumes its native gracefulness, which makes 
it again heaven-like, whilst God finds more delight in 
men than in angels.' 

There is a remarkable passage in the Mechilta, in 
which Israel is strongly censured because in the song at 
the Red Sea, instead of using the present tense, *]% fl, 
" God is King," they said l^bty^ TT, " God shaU be 
King," thus deferring the establishment of the king- 
dom to an indefinite future.' Israel had accordin^y 
some sort of foreboding of the evil times to come, a 
foreboding which was amply justified by the course of 
history. Israel soon rebelled against the kingdom. 
There was the rebellious act of the Golden Calf, which 
took place on the very spot where the kingdom was 
proclaimed, and which was followed by other acts of 

1 See Midrask Agadah, ed. B. 171 a. Cf. the Targnm to Song of 
Songs, 7 7. 

' See Exod, H., ^i t, and parallels. 

* See Mechilta^ 44 a, in the name of R. Jose of Galflee. The text 
in the editions is corrupt. In the M, H. G, it runs : Uysh "pTO* ?T 

rrehe mh -nn obw 'i'?o t? hirtff* rvMt i*?k laiK ^or n ♦•wi 
^»o ♦Kia'? TTwh Tin obnsh yhty" n i6k rriabm nov tro 
nK arhv a«n ♦bbaa rvrm r\wff no*?o norm mo us ^ no 
a-rcK -^3 inbrei imno jKn yso *?ai» *zv ayho ♦cm ns 
onaso rrcnr jm • 77133 sptr nnwwa ttt par nt ■prtm 
DTI Tn3 nr3-3 i3'?rf hmsr ^3i ♦ ttd" rrotsw nasfi ct Tm- 

gum Onkelos to this verse, whose paraphrase may have been intended 
to avoid the difficulty felt by R. Jose. Cf., however, Nachmanidet^ 
commentary to this verse and his reference to Onkeloa. 



THE VISIBLE KINGDOM (UNIVERSAL) 87 

rebellion against God.* "In the days of Joshua b. 
Nun, Israel received upon themselves the kingdom of 
heaven in love . . . and their reward was that God 
regarded them as pupils in the house of their teacher 
and children gathered round the table of their father, 
and he apportioned to them a blessing." * Then came 
again continual relapses, and the sons of Eli were 
called ^y^3 ''33, the sons of Belial, — men who threw 
oflF the yoke of God ■ and denied the kingdom of 
heaven,* but "in the times of the prophet Samuel, Israel 
(again) received upon themselves the kingdom of heaven 
in fear . . . and their reward was that God came down 
from the upper heavens, the place of his glory . . . 
and abode with them during the battle (with the 
Philistines), and apportioned to them a blessing."* 
After David came the decay, and Solomon is described 
as one who threw off the yoke of God.* The division 
of the ten tribes under Jeroboam was also regarded as 
a rebellion against the kingdom of God. The Rabbis 
interpreted 2 Samuel 20. 1, as if the original reading 
had been ^lOtZ?** VHtK? ttTI^, " Every man to his gods^ 
O Israel" (instead of to his tents).'' Even the princes 

1 See Num. R.,*j^ * 5. ^., p. 86. • See Sifre, 93 b. 

. ^ See Yalktttto Shemuel, § 86, and Midrash Shemuel, B. p. 31 b, from 
which the passage in question was taken. The marginal reference to 
T. K. {y^d) refers only to the first lines of the passage, which 
Schdttgen (1149) confused. See EccUs. R.^ i is. 

* 5". ^.f p. 86. • Num, R., 4 10. 

^ The rebellion of the Belial Sheba, the son of Bichri, is only a prel- 
ude to that effected by Jeroboam. See Midrash Shemueit B. cb. 42 b, 
f 4, and notes, and Jlf^ai/to, 39 a, Tinn phn \h fK U IUra,etc 



88 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

of Judah at a later time ''broke the yoke of the Holy 
One, blessed be he, and took upon themselves the yoke 
of the King of Flesh and Blood." The phrase, 
"broke" or "removed" the yoke, is not uncommon 
in Rabbinic literature, and has a theological meaning. 
The passage just cited refers probably to some deificar 
tion of Roman emperors by Jewish apostates, and not 
exactly to a political revolt.* 

Yet, notwithstanding all these relapses, one great end 
was achieved, and this was, that there existed a whole 
people who did once select God as their king. Over 
the people as a whole, as already hinted, God asserts 
his right to maintain his kingdom. Thus the Rabbis 
interpret Ezekiel 20 33, "Without your consent and 
against your will I (God) shall be King over you;" and 
when the elders of Israel remonstrate, "We are now 
among the Gentiles, and have therefore no reason for 
not throwing off the yoke of his kingdom," the Holy One 
answers, "This shall not come to pass, for I will send 
my prophets, who will lead you back imder my wings." * 
The right of possession is thus enforced by an inner 
process, the prophets being a part of the peo|de; and 
so there will always be among them a remnant which 
will remain true to their mission of preaching the king- 
dom. The remnant is naturally small in number, but 

^ See A, R, AC, 36 b, , See, howerer, Bacher, Ag, Tam^ i m^ 
note I, and the reference there to WeiM TTI. Ct Bdk TmAmm^ 



* See T. Hr,, 112 3. Cf. Sankedrin^ 105 a and paraflth. GL tin 
Exod, R»tZh *^<^ above, p. 55, note 2. 



THE VISIBLE KINGDOM (UNIVERSAL) 89 

is sufficient to keep the idea of the kingdom alive. 
"God saw," say the Rabbis, "that the righteous were 
sparse; he therefore planted them in (or distributed 
them over) all generations, as it is said (2 Samuel i 8), 
' For the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and he has 
set the world upon them.'" The pillars, according to 
the Rabbinical explanation, are the righteous, who, by 
the fact of their being devoted to the Lord, form the 
foundation of the spiritual world.^ 

We will now try to sum up in some clearer way the 
results to which the preceding statements mostly con- 
sisting of Rabbinical quotations, may lead us. We 
learn first that the kingdom of God is in this world. 
In the next world, if we imderstand by it the heavens, 
or any other sphere where angels and ethereal souls 
dwell, there is no object in the kingdom. The term 
'^kingdom of heaven" must therefore be taken in the 
sense in which heaven is equivalent to God, not locally, 
as if the kingdom were located in the celestial spheres. 
The term "HV 111370 in the Prayer Book,* the kingdom 
of the Almighty, may be safely regarded as a synonym 
of DtDty T^hl^. 

This kingdom again is established on earth by man's 
consciousness that God is near to him ; whilst nearness 

• Beginning JtlpJ p 7P, see below, p. 94. Cf. A, R, A^., 36 ^, where 
he tpeaJn of H^'Spn hv iblV, instead of which certain Mss. have all 
tmO TO. The mystical literature, it should be noted, speaks of 
angels ''taking upon themselves the yoke of the kingdom of heaven." 
See Singer, p. 38 and Baer, p. 132. 



90 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

of God to man means the knowledge of God's ways to 
do righteousness and judgement. In other words, it is 
the sense of duty and responsibility to the heavenly king 
who is concerned in and superintends our actions. 
''Behold thou art fair, my love/' says God to Israel, 
''you are fair through the giving of alms and perform- 
ing acts of loving-kindness; you (Israel) are my lovers 
and friends when you walk in my ways. As the 
Omnipresent is merciful and gracious, long-suffering 
and abundant in goodness, so be ye . . • feeding the 
hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, 
ransoming the captives, and marrying the orphans. 
. . . They will behold the Right One, which is the Holy 
One, blessed be he, as it is said, 'A God of truth and 
without iniquity, just and Right is he*" (Deut. 32 4).* 
"The hill of the Lord," and "the tabernacle of God" 
in the Psalms, in which only the workers of righteous- 
ness and the pure-hearted shall abide, are kingdoms 
of God in miniature. 

The idea of the kingdom may thus be conceived as 
ethical (not exactly eschatological) and it was in this 
sense perhaps that the Rabbis considered the patriarchs 
and the prophets as the preachers of the kingdom. 
It is not even exactly identical with the law or the Torah. 
Why do we read, ask the Rabbis, first the Shema {Le. 
Deut. 6. 4-9), and afterwards the section Deut 11 u^ 
commencing with the words, "And it shall come to 
pass if ye will hearken diligently unto my command- 

1 See Agada^ Skir Haskirim^ p. 18^ and p. 6l. 



THE VISIBLE KINGDOM (UNIVERSAL) 91 

ments " ? This is done, say the Rabbis, to the end that 
we may receive upon ourselves first the yoke of the 
kingdom and afterwards the yoke of the command- 
ments.^ The law is thus only a necessary consequence 
of the kingdom, but not identical with it.' 

Indeed, the Torah itself indicates its relation to the 
Kingdom; for the Rabbis say in allusion to Deut. 32 
29, "Had Israel looked properly into the words of the 
Torah that were revealed to them, no nation would 
have ever gained dominion over them. And what did 
she (the Torah) say imto them? Receive upon your- 
selves the yoke of the kingdom of my name ; outweigh 
each other in the fear of heaven, and let your conduct 

^ BerackoAj 13 a, 

* In this connection reference may be had to the following Mid- 
rashic passage alluding to Zech. 99 : " Rejoice greatly, O daughter 
of Zion, . • . behold thy King is coming unto thee. . . ." God says 
to Israel : " Ye righteous of the world, the words of the Torah are im- 
portant for me ; ye were attached to the Torah, but did not hope for 
my kingdom. I take an oath that with regard to those who hope for 
my kingdom I shall myself bear witness for their good. . . . These 
are the mourners over Zion who are humble in spirit, who hear their 
offence and answer not, and never claim merit for themselves.*' Lec- 
tor Friedmann, in his commentary on the Pesikta, perceives in this very 
obscure panage the emphatic expression of the importance of the king- 
dom, which is more universal than the words of the Torah ; the latter 
having only the aim of preparing mankind for the kingdom. See P, 
^f 159 ^ text and notes (especially note 23). To me it seems that 
the pavage has probably to be taken in the sense of the text communi- 
cated firom Friedmann's D'TTfiOS, below, p. 292. There are, also, very 
grave donbts as to the age and character of all these Messianic 
PesiktoA^ See Friedmann's interesting note, ibiiLf p. 164 a, 164 ^ 
though he defends their genuineness. 



92 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

be mutual loving-kindness." ^ Among the features of 
the kingdom, the fear of God and the love of one's 
neighbor are thus found to be prominent. 

Nor, again, is the kingdom of God political. The 
patriarchs in the mind of the Rabbis did not figure 
prominently as worldly princes, but as teachers of 
the kingdom.' The idea of theocracy as opposed to 
any other form of government was quite foreign to 
the Rabbis. There is not the slightest hint in the whole 
Rabbinic literature that the Rabbis gave any preference 
to a hierarchy with an ecclesiastical head who pretends 
to be the vice-regent of God, over a secular prince who 
derives his authority from the divine right of his dynasty.' 
Every authority, according to the creed of the Rabbis, 
was appointed by heaven; * but they had also the sad 
experience that each in its turn rebelled against heaven. 
The high priests, Menelaus and Alcimus, were just as 
wicked and as ready to betray their nation and their 

1 Si/rft 138 a. Perhaps we oaght to read UtSV instead of *tn9. 
Cf. also .S*. £., p. 143 : ** And thus said the Holy One, Messed be he* Mj 
beloved children, do I miss anything (which yon could give me) ? I 
want nothing but that you love each other, respect each othcTy and that 
no sin or ugly thing be found among yotu" 

^ There are some legends in which Abraham appears in the capacitf 
of a prince, cf. Gfn, A*., 42 &, bat, it is not as a nder, but as a 
that he figures mostly in Rabbinic literature. 

* See Kenan, Hibhert Lectures^ p. 107, who has some apt 
on this point, but which are at the same time greatly disfigured by hii 
mania of generalising on Semitic religions. 

* See Berachoth, 58 a. With regard to Rome in particolar, 
Abodah Zarak, I J a, CTOVH [0 JTSfTOn IV • lUIIIV. 



1^ 



THE VISIBLE KINGDOM (UNIVERSAL) 93 

God as the laymen, Herod and Archelaus, who owed 
their throne to Roman machinations. 

If, then, the kingdom of Gk)d was thus originally 
intended to be in the midst of men and for men at large 
(as represented by Adam), if its first preachers were, 
like Abraham, ex-heathens, who addressed themselves 
to heathens, if, again, the essence of their preaching 
was righteousness and justice, and if, lastly, the king- 
dom does not mean a hierarchy, but any form of gov-^ 
emment conducted on the principles of righteousness, 
holiness, justice, and charitableness, then we may safely 
maintain that the kingdom of God, as taught by 
Judaism in one of its aspects, is universal in its aims. 

Hence the imiversal tone generally prevalent in all 
the kingship prayers (HVabO). The foremost among 
these are the concluding lines of the kingship bene- 
diction recited on the New Year, running thus : " Our 
God and God of our fathers, reign thou in thy glory 
over the whole imiverse, and be exalted above all the 
earth in thine honour, and shine forth in the splendour 
and excellence of thy might, upon all the inhabitants 
of thy world, that whatsoever hath been made may 
know that thou hast made it, and whatsoever hath been 
created may imderstand that thou hast created it, and 
whatsoever hath breath in its nostrils, may say, the 
Lord God of Israel is King, and his dominion ruleth 
over all. ... O purify our hearts to serve thee in 
truth, for thou art God in truth, and thy word is truth, 
and endureth forever. Blessed art thou, O Lord, 



\ 
\ 



94 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

King over all the earth, who sanctifiest Israel and the 
Day of Memorial." ^ A later variation of this benedic* 
tion, forming now a part both of the kingship prayers 
and of the daily prayer, is the passage referred to 
above, expressing the hope of Israel for the future, in 
the following exalted language: ''We therefore hope 
in thee, O Lord our God, that we may speedily behold 
the glory of thy might, when thou wilt remove the 
abominations from the earth, and the idols will be 
utterly cut off, when the world will be perfected imder 
the kingdom of the Almighty, and all the children 
of flesh will call upon thy name, when thou wilt turn 
unto thyself all the wicked of the earth. Let all 
the inhabitants of the world perceive and know that 
imto thee every knee must bow, every tongue must 
swear. Before thee, O Lord our Gkxl, let them bow 
and fall; and unto thy glorious name let them give 
honour; let them all accept the yoke of thy kingdom, 
and do thou reign over them speedily, and for ever and 
ever. For the kingdom is thine, and to all eternity 
thou wilt reign in glory; as it is written in thyTorah, 
the Lord shall reign for ever and ever." * One of the 
evening benedictions in the German ritual, which 
probably formed once the whole of the evening prayer, 
concludes with the following passages: " Our God 
who art in heaven, assert the unity of thy name, and 

^ See Singer, p. 249, and Baer, p. 399. 

> Singer, pp. 76 and 247, and Baer, ibitL, pp. 132 and 398. See 
above, p. S9. 



THE VISIBLE KINGDOM (UNIVERSAL) 95 

establish thy kingdom continually, and reign over us 
for ever and ever. May our eyes behold, our hearts 
rejoice, and our souls be glad in thy true salvation, 
when it shall be said unto Zion, Thy God reigneth. 
The Lord reigneth : the Lord hath reigned ; the Lord 
shall reign for ever and ever : for the kingdom is thine, 
and to everlasting thou wilt reign in glory ; for we have 
no king but thee. Blessed art thou, O Lord, the 
King, who constantly in his glory will reign over us 
and over all his works for ever and ever." * The 
Kaddish (the ''Sanctification"), again, which is recited 
several times a day, in every sjmagogue, commences 
with the words: "Magnified and sanctified be his 
great Name in the world which he hath created accord- 
ing to his will. And may he establish his kingdom 
during your life and diuing your days," * etc. A 
variation of it is the prayer simg before the reading of 
the law on the Sabbath, after the declaration of the 
unity by the Shema and other verses, " Magnified and 
hallowed ... be the name of the King of Kings of 
Kings, the Holy One, blessed be he, in the worlds 
which he hath created, — this world and the world to 
come." ■ The magnifying of God's name, as a con- 
sequence, both of his Unity and of his Kingship, finds 
also expression in the first line of an ancient prayer 

1 Cf. Singer, p. loi ; Baer, p. 169. 

* Baer, ihid,^ p. 129. See Singer, p. 75. 

* See Baer, p. 224. Cf. Mueller, Masechet Softrim^ ch. 25, and p. 196. 
See abo Singer, p. 146. 



96 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOIXX^Y 

known to the Geonim: "Our King, our God, assert 
the unity of thy name in thy world, assert the unity of 
thy kingdom in thy world." ^ In this connection it is 
worth noting that citations from the Scriptures em- 
bodied in the Kingship Benediction conclude with the 
verse from Deut. 6 4, "Hear, O Israel," etc., which 
proves again the close relation between the doctrine 
of the Unity and that of God's universal Kingdom,' 
which belief is among others well illustrated by the 
words of R. Bachye Ibn Chalwah, who says: "And it 
is well known that the real Unity (will only be realised 
in the days of the Messiah, for in the times of subjec- 
tion of Israel) the signs of the Unity are not discernible 
(the worship of mankind being distributed among many 
unworthy objects), so that the denying of the truth is 
constantly in the increase. But with the advent of the 
Messiah all the nations will turn to one creed, and the 
world will be perfected under the Kingdom of the Al- 
mighty, all of them agreeing to worship the name and 
to call upon the name of God. Then only will the 
unity of God become common in the mouth of all 
the nations. This is the promise the prophet made 
for the future : " And the Lord shall be King over all 
the earth : in that day shall the Lord be One and 
name One." ' 

^ See Seder Rab Amram, p. 9 a, 

^ Baer, i6it/., p. 399, and cf. above, p. 64, note 3. 

• ntSpn 13, end of the chapter ■niT. 



vn 



THE KINGDOM OF GOD (NATIONAL) 

The EUngship Prayer, just cited, is introduced by 
another group of prayers relating also to the kingdom 
of heaven, but containing at the same time emphatic 
references to Israel's connection with it. These prayers 
have for their burden the speedy advent of the day in 
which all creatures will form one single band to do 
God's will with a perfect heart, when righteousness 
will triumph, and the pious and the saints will rejoice ; 
but also when God will give glory to his people, joys 
to his land, gladness to his city, and a clear shining 
light imto his Messiah, the son of Jesse. They cou- 
dude with the words, " And thou, O Lord, shalt reign, 
thou alone over all thy works on Mount Zion, the dwell- 
ing place of thy glory, and in Jerusalem, thy holy city, 
as it is written in thy Holy words, ' The Lord shall 
reign for ever, thy God of Zion, unto all generations. 
Praise ye the Lord ' " (Ps. 146 lo). The prayer of the 
Geonim also continues with the words, " Build thy 
house, establish thy Temple, bring near thy Messiah, 
and rejoice thy congregation." Indeed, the credit 
is given to Israel that they suppress the Evil Yezer, 
declare his (God's) imity, and proclaim him as king 
H 97 



98 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

every day, and wait for his kingdom, and hope to 
see the building of his Temple, and say eveiy day, 
''The Lord doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth 
together the outcasts of Israel " (Ps. 147 2).^ The 
idea of the kingdom is accordin^y often so closely con- 
nected with the redemption of Israel from the exile, the 
advent of the Messiah, and the restoration of the Tem- 
ple, as to be inseparable from it. This is its natk>nal 
aspect. "Israel are the people for whose sake (or 
Zachuth) the world was created ; and it is on them that 
the world was based." Israel, again, as we have seen, 
are the people, who, by their glorious acts at the Red 
Sea, and especially by their readiness at Mount Sinai 
to receive the yoke of the kingdom, became the very 
pillars of the throne. To add here another passage 
of the same nature, the saying of R. Simon may be 
given, who expresses the idea in very bold language. 
Speaking of the supports of the world, and Israel's 
part in them, he says: ''As long as Israel is united into 
one league (that is, making bold front against any 
heresy denying the unity or the supremacy of God), the 
kingdom in heaven is maintained by them; whilst 
Israel's falling off from God shakes the throne to its 
very foundation in heaven."* The banishment of 
Israel from the holy land has the same consequence. 

1 See Singer, p. 239 sef, ; Baer, p. 395 Uf. ; Sider J?. Atmrmm, 
ga; Friedmann, D*nBC3, p. 56. 

' See Exod. R. 38 4. See alio Midrask Skemuel^ B. 5, ii and refer- 
ences. Cf. Bacber, Ag. Tan. a iio, note L See abo abore* p. 85. 



THE KINGDOM OP GOD (NATIONAL) 99 

Thus said the congregation of Israel before the Holy 
One, blessed be he, ** Is there a king without a throne ; 
is there a king without a crown; is there a king 
without a palace ? * How long wilt thou forget me, O 
Lord ?' " (Ps. 13 2).^ Jerusalem, which the Prophet (Jer. 
3 17) called the throne of the Lord, becomes identified 
with it; and Amalek, who destroyed the holy city, is 
guilty of rebellion against Grod and his kingdom.' 
Therefore neither the throne of God nor his holy name 
is perfect (that is to say, fully revealed) as long as 
the children of the Amalekites exist in the world.' And 
just as Israel are the bearers of the name of God, so the 
Amalekites are the representatives of idolatry and every 
base thing antagonistic to God, so that R. Eleazar of 
Modyim thinks that the existence of the one necessarily 
involves the destruction of the other. "When will the 
name of the Amalekites be wiped out?" he exclaims. 
" Not before both the idols and their worshippers cease 
to exist, when God will be alone in the world and his 
kingdom established for ever and ever." * These 
passages, to which many more of a similar nature might 
be added, are the more calculated to give to the king- 
dom of heaven a national aspect, when we remember 
that Amalek is only another name for his ancestor 
Esau, who is the father of Edom, who is but a prototype 
for Rome. With this kingdom, represented in Jewish 

^AfT„ 131, «/>./:., 28a. 

* p. IT,, 29 Of p. II., $1 a and parallels. 
^MgckiUotSeOfSe^. Cf. M.T. 97: 1 and 99: i. 



lOO SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

literature by the fourth beast of the vision of Daniel/ 
Israel according to the Rabbis is at deadly feud, a feud 
which began before its ancestors even perceived that the 
light of the world is perpetually carried on by their 
descendants, and will only be brought to an end with 
history itself.' The contest over the birthright is in- 
dicative of the struggle for supremacy between Israel 
and Rome. It would seem even as if Israel despairs 
of asserting the claims of his acquired birthright, and 
concedes this world to Esau. "Two worlds there are," 
Jacob says unto Esau, "this world and the world to 
come. In this world there is eating and drinking, but 
in the next world there are the righteous, who with 
crowns on their heads revel in the glory of the divine 
presence. Choose as first-bom the world which pleases 
thee. Esau chose this world." • Jacob's promise to 
join his brother at Seir meant that meeting in the dis- 
tant future, when the Messiah of Israel wiU appear 
and the Holy One will make his kingdom shine 
forth over Israel, as it is said (Obadiah 21): ''And 
saviours shall come up on Moimt Zion to judge the 
mount of Esau ; and the kingdom shall be the Lord's." ^ 

^ See Ltv, R,, 13 6 and paraUels. VaJntble infonnmtkm on tfak 
point is to be found in Senior Sachs's editioii of the Carmima Samdim 
Sclomonis Ibn Gabirol, pp. 70-100. CJL also Znnz, Syn^gegaU Butii^ 
p. 437 seq. See also A. Epstein, Beiiragt tur jUdisckm AUtrAmmi' 
Aundf, p. 35. 

« Gen. R., 61. §§ 6, 7» 9- 

* See Friedmann, CTTtc:, 26 b and P, K^ 59 h, 

^ Gen, R,f 78 and parallels. 



THE KINGDOM OF GOD (NATIONAL) loi 

Thus the kingdom of heaven stands in opposition to the 
kingdom of Rome, and becomes connected with the 
kingdom of Israel, and it is in conformity with this 
sentiment that a Rabbi, picturing the glorious spring, 
in which the budding of Israel's redemption will first 
be perceived, exclaims: "The time has arrived when 
the reign of the wicked will break down and Israel will 
be redeemed ; the time has come for the extermination 
of the kingdom of wickedness ; the time has come for 
the revelation of the kingdom of heaven, and the voice 
of the Messiah is heard in our land." ^ 

This is only a specimen of dozens of interpretations 
of the same nature, round which a whole world of 
myths and legend grew up, in which the chiliastic ele- 
ment, with all its excesses, was strongly emphasised. 
They fluctuate and change with the great historical 
events and the varying influences by which they were 
suggested.' But there are also fixed elements in them 

^ See P, K,t 50 a, and P. R.^ 75 a, text and notes. 

' Dr. Joseph Klausner's Die messianischen Vorstellungen im ZeitalUr 
der Tannaiten is very instructive, though not all his results seem to me 
acceptable. See also Dr. Julius H. Greenstone's The Messiah Idea in 
Jewish History^ which gives also references to the latest literature on 
the subject, including the Rev. Dr. R. H. Charles' Eschatology. On 
the whole I think that R. Isaac Abarbanel's noble HlTIVr ITDVO con- 
tains still the best presentation of the Rabbinic belief in the Messiah, 
as entertained by the great majority of Rabbinic Jews. (See es- 
pecially in his fourteen articles, 0^*?^.) The statement by some 
modems, to the effect that Rabbinism did not hold the belief in a 
personal Messiah essential, is unscientific and needs no refutation for 
those who are acquainted with the literature. 



I02 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

which are to be found in the Rabbinic literature of 
almost every age and date. These are: — 

I. The faith that the Messiah, a descendant of the 
house of David, will restore the kingdom of Israel, 
which under his sceptre will extend over the whole 
world. 2. The notion that a last terrible battle wiU 
take place with the enemies of God (or of Israel), who 
will strive against the establishment of the kingdom, 
and who will finally be destroyed. "When will the 
Lord be King for ever and ever? When the heathen 
— that is, the Romans — will have perished out of the 
land." ^ 3. The belief that the establishment of this 
new kingdom will be followed by the spiritual hege- 
mony of Israel, when all the nations will accept the 
belief in the unity of God, acknowledge his kingdom, 
and seek instruction from his law. 4. The conviction 
that it will be an age of material happiness as well 
as spiritual bliss for all those who are included in the 
kingdom,' when further death will disappear and the 
dead will revive. 

» See Af, T., 10 7. 

' It should however be noticed thmt the atithoritiet are not qmte in 
agreement as to the date of resurrection, not all of them making 
it a condition of the Messianic times. Rabbi Hillel's (fl. 3^ centnxy) 
statement, " Israel has no hope for a Messiah " {^Sankedrin 99^}» is 
entirely isolated. It should further be noticed that in some sources 
the kingdom of the Messiah is to a certain extent a preparation for tlie 
time when God himself will reign. Indeed, all the Tersions of the wdl- 
known Midrash of the Ten Kings after the Messiah, the kingdom 
comes back to bis first roaster, that is God, who was the first King after 
the creation of the world. The only place where the kingdom of 



THE KINGDOM OF GOD (NATIONAL) 103 

The two ideas of the kingdom of heaven, over which 
God reigns, and the kingdom of Israel, in which the 
Messiah holds the sceptre, became thus almost identical. 

This identification has both narrowed, and to some 
extent even materialised, the notion of the kingdom. 
On the other hand, it also enriched it with certain fea- 
tures investing it with that amount of substance and 
reality which are most necessary, if an idea is not to 
become meaningless and lifeless. It is just this danger 
to which ideas are exposed in the process of their spirit- 
ualisation. That "the letter killeth, but the spirit 
giveth life," is a truth of which Judaism, which did de- 
part very often from the letter, was as conscious as any 
other religion. Zerachya ben Shealtiel, in his Commen- 
tary to Job ^ 2 14, goes even so far as to say: *' Should 
I explain this chapter according to its letter, I should be 
a heretic, because I would have to make such conces- 
^ons to Satan's powers as are inconsistent with the 
belief in the Unity. I shall therefore interpret it 
according to the spirit of philosophy." But, imfor- 
timately, there is also an evil spirit which sometimes 
possesses itself of an idea and reduces it to a mere 

nah is identified with that of God is Pugio Fidei, by Raymundos, p. 397; 
but there is good reason to suppose that the text of Raymundus was 
tampered with for controversial purposes. See the literature on this 
point in the Exposilor, vol. 7, 3d series, p. 108. Neubauer's remarks 
there are far from conTincing. See also Cassel in his Commentary 
to Esther, p. 263, where he gives a reference to the New Testament, 
I Corinthians 15 ss-os. 

^ Published in the WM nipfl, a collection of commentaries to Job, 
by Schwartz. 



I04 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

phantasm. The history of theology is greatly haunted 
by these unclean spirits. The best guard against them 
is to provide the idea with some definiteness and reality 
in which we can perceive the evidence of the spirit. 

This was the service rendered by the connection of 
the kingdom of Israel with the kingdom of God. It 
fixed the kingdom in this world. It had, of course, to 
be deferred to some indefinite period, but stiU its locale 
remained in our globe, not imknown regions in another 
world. It was extended from the individual to a 
whole nation, placing a whole people into its service 
and training it for this end, thus making the idea of 
the kingdom visible and tangible. A whole conmion- 
wealth, with all its institutions, civil and ecclesiastical, 
becomes part and parcel of the kingdom of God. 
The Lord has made all things for himself, for the 
glory of his kingdom, which includes all creation. 
But Israel understood their duty to the extent of giving 
in time of persecution their very lives rather than 
transgress the slightest law, as such a transgression at 
such a time involved the sin of profaning the Holy 
Name, and may be taken as a sign of apostasy or be- 
trayal of the kingdom. For they are indeed the vay 
legions of the kingdom.^ 

By this fact, it is true, the kingdom of God be- 
comes greatly nationalised. But even in this case it 
loses nothing of its spiritual features. For even in its 

1 See Tosephta Shabbath^ p. 134; A^adath Shir Hmskirim^ p. 34. 
See also above, p. 81, note i. 



« 



THE KINGDOM OF GOD (NATIONAL) 105 

identification with the nation, Israel is only the depos- 
itory of the kingdom, not the exclusive possessor of it. 
The idea of the kingdom is the palladium of the nation. 
According to some, it is the secret which has come 
down to them from the patriarchs ; ^ according to 
others, the holy mystery of the angels overheard by 
Moses, which Israel continually proclaims.' It has to 
be emphasised in every prayer and benediction,' 
whilst the main distinction of the most solemn prayers 
of the year on the New Year's Day consists, as we 
have seen, in a detailed proclamation of the kingdom 
of God in all stages of history, past, present, and future. 
Before we appeal to his mercy," teach the Rabbis, 
and before we pray for redemption, we must first 
make him King over us." * We must also remember 
that Israel is not a nation in the common sense of the 
word. To the Rabbis, at least, it is not a nation by vir- 
tue of race or of certain peculiar political combinations. 
As R. Saadya expressed it, ^3 DK naiK .133^ imaiK ^3 
iTirnirO (" Because our nation is only a nation by rea-^ 
son of its Torah").* The brutal Torah-less national-/ 
ism promulgated in certain quarters, would have beenj 
to the Rabbis just as hateful as the suicidal Torah-less 
universalism preached in other quarters. And if w^ 
could imagine for a moment Israel giving up its allegiance 

^ See Si/r£, 72 d, and the very instnictive notes by the editor. 
« Den/. R,, 2. • See Berachoth, 12 a. 

* See Sifre, 19 ^, and Rosh ffetshanah, 16 a. See also whole extract 
from the Utnrgy at the end of ch. 5. 

» mane\ nwoK, 3 : 7. 



io6 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

to God, its Torah and its divine institutions, the Rabbis 
would be the first to sign its death-warrant as a nation. 
The prophecy (Isa.440), ''Another shall subscribe with 
his hands unto the Lord," means, according to the Rab- 
bis, the sinners who return unto him from their evil 
ways, whilst the words, '' And surname himself by the 
name of Israel," are explained to be proselytes who leave 
the heathen world to join Israel.^ It is then by these 
means of repentance and proselytism that the kingdom of 
heaven, even in its connection with Israel, expands into 
the universal kingdom to which sinners and Gentiles 
are invited. It becomes a sort of spiritual imperialism 
with the necessary accompaniment of the doctrine of 
the " Open Door" through which the whole of hiunanity 
might pass into the kingdom. ''Open ye gates that 
the righteous people {Got) which keepeth the truth 
may enter in" (Isa. 26 2). It is not said that the 
Priests or the Levites or the Israelites may enter, but 
Goi (Gentile). "Behold even one of other nations who 
fulfils (the laws of) the Torah is (as good) as the very 
high priest."' 

The antagonism between the kingdom of God and 
the kingdom of Rome, which is brought about by the 
connection of the former with that of Israel, suggests 
also a most important truth: Bad govemmenl is sn- 
compatible with the kingdom of God. * As already pointed 

1 Meckilta^ 95 b and parallels. 

> T. K,, 86 b, uking the word *^: in the tente of heathen, 
and stranger. See also below, p. 133. 



THE KINGDOM OF GOD (NATIONAL) 107 

out above, it is not the form of the Roman Government 
to which objection is taken, but its methods of ad- 
ministration and its oppressive rule. It is true that 
they tried "to render imto Caesar the things that were 
Caesar's, and imto God the things that were God's." 
Thus they interpreted the words in Ecclesiastes 8 2: 
"I coimsel thee, keep the king's conunandments and 
thai in regard of the oath of God," in the following 
way: "I take an oath from you, not to rebel against 
the (Roman) Government, even if its decrees against 
you should be most oppressive; for you have to keep 
the king's commands. But if you are bidden to deny 
God and give up the Torah, then obey no more." And 
they proceed to illustrate it by the example of Han- 
aniah, Mishael, and Azariah, who are made to say to 
Nebuchadnezzar, "Thou art our king in matters con- 
cerning duties and taxes, but in things divine thy au- 
thority ceases, and therefore 'we will not serve thy 
gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast 
put up.'" ^ But compromises forced upon them by 
the political circumstances of the time must not be 
regarded as desirable ideals or real doctrine. Apart 
from the question as to the exact definition of things 
falling within the respective provinces of Caesar and of 
God — a question which, after eighteen hundred years' 
discussion, is still unsettled — there can be little doubt 
that the Rabbis looked with dismay upon a government 
which derived its authority from the deification of 

^ See Tan.f 113, 10, and L€V. H^ 33 e. Cf. Num, ^., 14 6. 



lo8 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

might, whereof the emperor was the incarnate princi- 
ple. Edom recognises no superior authority, saying, 
"Whom have I in heaven?"* It represents iron 
(we would say blood and iron), a metal which was 
excluded from the tabernacle, the abode of the divine 
peace,' whilst its king of flesh and blood, whom Edom 
flatters in its ovations as being mighty, wise, powerful, 
merciful, just, and faithful, has not a single one of all 
these virtues, and is even the very reverse of what they 
express.' 

But besides these differences the Rabbis held the 
Roman Government to be thoroughly corrupt in its 
administration; Esau preaches justice and practises 
violence. Their judges commit the very crimes for 
which they condemn others. They pretend to pun- 
ish crime, but are reconciled to it by bribery. Their 
motives are selfish, never drawing men near to them, 
except in their own interest and for their own ad- 
vantage. As soon as they see a man in a state of 
prosperity, they devise means how to possess themselves 
of his goods. In a word, Esau is rapacious and violent, 
especially the procurators sent out to the provinces, 
where they rob and murder, and when they return to 
Rome pretend to feed the poor with the monqr they 
have collected.^ Such a government was, acooiding 

1 Lev. R., 13 6. s See Exod. R.^ 35 7. * MakUta^ 35 «. 

^ See 1^. R., ibid, ; Aboth, 2 f ; Exod. R., 31 11; P. K. 95 A. 
Interesting is a passage in Mammsen's History ofRome^ 4« wliich fliovB 
Uiat the Rabbis did not greatljr ezaggermte the cnieltj of the Rmhui 



THE KINGDOM OF GOD (NATIONAL) 109 

to the Rabbis, incompatible with the kingdom of heaven, 
and therefore the mission of Israel was to destroy it.* 

Another essential addition made to the kingdom of 
God by its connection with the kingdom of Israel is, as 
abready indicated, the feature of material happiness. Pop- 
ular fancy pictured it in gorgeous colours : The rivers will 
flow with wine and honey, the trees will grow bread and 
delicacies, whilst in certain districts springs will break 
forth which will prove cures for all sorts of diseases. 
Altogether, disease and suffering will cease, and those 
who come into the kingdom with bodily defects, such 
as blindness, deafness, and other blemishes, will be 
healed. Men will multiply in a way not at all agree- 
able to the laws of political economy, and will enjoy 
a very long life, if they will die at all. War will, of 
course, disappear, and warriors will look upon their 
weapons as a reproach and an offence. Even the 
rapacious beasts will lose their powers of doing injury, 
and will become peaceful and harmless.' Such are the 
details in which the Rabbis indulge in their descriptions 

Goremment. ** Any one who desires," says our greatest historian of 
Rome, " to £iithom the depths to which men can sink in the criminal 
infliction, and in the no less criminal endurance of an inconceivable 
injustice, may gather together from the criminal records of this period 
the wrongs which Roman grandees could perpetuate, and Greeks, 
Syrians, and Phoenicians could suffer." Cf. JoePs B/icie, i. 109. How 
far matters improved under the emperors, at least with regard to the 
Jews, is still a question. 

^ Berachoth^ ij a. See Rabbinowicz, Variae LecHones, a J, 
* See, for instance, Kethuboth^ 1 1 1 a ; Shabbath^ 63 a ; Gen, ^., 12 •; 
MJI.G.^ 126 uq> ; see also Klausner (as above, p. loi), p. 108 seq. 



no SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

of the blissful times to come. We need not dwell upon 
them. There is much in them which is distasteful and 
childish. Still, when we look at the imderlying idea, 
we shall find that it is not without its spiritual truth. 
The kingdom of God is inconsistent with a state of 
social misery, engendered through poverty and want. 
Not that Judaism looked upon poverty, as some author 
has suggested, as a moral vice. Nothing can be a 
greater mistake. The Rabbis were themselves mostly 
recruited from the artisan and labouring classes, and 
of some we know that they lived in the greatest want. 
Certain Rabbis have even maintained that there is no 
quality becoming Israel more than poverty, for it is a 
means of spiritual purification.^ Still, they did not 
hide from themselves the terrible fact that abject 
poverty has its great demoralising dangers. It is one 
of the three things which make man transgress the law 
of his Maker.' 

But even if poverty would not have this effect, it 
would be excluded from the kingdom of heaven, as 
involving pain and suffering. The poor man, they 
hold, is dead as an influence, and his whole life, de- 
pending upon his fellows, is a perpetual passing through 
the tortures of hell.' But it is a graceful world which 
God has created, and it must not be disfigured by misery 
and suffering. It must return to its perfect state 
when the visible kingdom is established. As we shall 

1 CAagifoAy gi. * ErttHMf 41 ^. 

* Nedarim^ 7 3, and Birackotk^ 6 h. 



n ■■■ « - - 



THE KINGDOM OP GOD (NATIONAL) iii 

see in the sequence/ Judaism was certainly not wanting 
in theories, idealising sufiFering and trying to reconcile 
man with its existence. But, on the other hand, it 
did not recognise a chasm between flesh and spirit, the 
material and the spiritual world, so as to abandon 
entirely the one for the sake of the other. They are 
both the creatures of God, the body as well as the 
soul, and hence both the objects of his salvation. 

To a certain Jewish mystic of the last century, 
R. Moses Loeb, of Sasow, the question was put by one 
of his disciples to the effect, "Why did God, in whom 
everything originates, create the quality of scepticism?" 
The master's answer was, "That thou mayest not let 
the poor starve, putting them off with the joys of the 
next world, or simply telling them to trust in God, who 
will help them, instead of supplying them with food." * 

We venture to maintain with the mystic that a good 
dose of materialism is necessary for religion that we 
may not starve the world. It was by this that Judaism 
was preserved from the mistake of crying inward peace, 
when actually there was no peace; of speaking of in- 
ward liberty, when in truth this spiritual but spurious 
liberty only served as a meaos for persuading man to 
renounce his liberty altogether, confining the kingdom 
of God to a particular institution and handing over 
the world to the devil. 

* See below, p. 309. 

' See opnaC rWWt Lemberg, 1897, P- 39* which diffen somewhat 
from the Ternon I have heard often told, and which is given in the 



112 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

This is not the place to enter into the charity system 
of the Rabbis, nor to enlarge upon the measures taken 
by them so as to make charity superfluous. But having 
touched upon the subject of poverty, a few general 
remarks will not be out of place. In that brilliant essay 
known under the title of Eue HamOf we meet the 
following statement: ''The ideal of the economist, 
the ideal of the Old Testament writers, does not appear 
to be Christ's. He feeds the poor, but it is not his great 
object to bring about a state of things in which the 
poorest shall be sure of a meal." But it was just this 
which was included in the ideal of the Rabbis. They 
were not satisfied with feeding the poor. Not only 
did they make the authorities of every conununity 
responsible for the poor, and would even stigmatise 
them as murderers if their negligence should lead to 
starvation and death ; ^ but their great ideal was not to 
allow man to be poor, not to allow him to come down 
into the depths of poverty. They say, "Try to prevent 
it by teaching him a trade, or by occupying him in 
your house as a servant, or make him work with you as 
your partner." ' Try all methods before you permit 
him to become an object of charity, which must de- 
grade him, tender as our dealings with him may be. 

Hence their violent protests against any sort of 
money speculation which must result in increasing 

1 See B. T. Sotah, 38 h, and Jer. SoiaJk^ 23 tf. 
* See T. K.fioqb, and Maimonidet' Misknth Torak^ tfOITOA VKIm 
r^ TP rrr ^'B O^^. See alio the older commrntarica on AMk^ i s. 



THE KINGDOM OP GOD (NATIONAL) 113 

poverty : Thou lendest him money on the security 
of his estate with the object of joining his field to thine, 
his house to thine, and thou flatterest thyself to become 
the heir of the land; be siure of a truth that many 
houses will be desolate.^ Those again who increase 
the price of food by artificial means, who give false 
measiurc, who lend on usury, and keep back the com 
from the market, are classed by the Rabbis with the 
blasphemers and hypocrites, and God will never forget 
their works.' 

To the employers of workmen again they say: 
'' This poor man ascends the highest scaffoldings, climbs 
the highest trees. For what does he expose himself 
to such dangers, if not for the purpose of earning his 
living? Be careful, therefore, not to oppress him 
in his wages, for it means his very life."' On the 
other hand, they relieved the workman from reciting 
certain prayers when they interfered with his duty to 
his master.^ 

From this consideration for the employer and the 
employed a whole set of laws emanate which try to 
regulate their mutual relations and duties. How far 
they would satisfy the modem economist I am unable 
to say. In general I should think that, excellent as 
they may have been for their own times, they would not 

^ See Introduction to Midrash to Lament, R^^ 22, on Isa. 5 i. 
* See A, R. M, 43 b ; Baba Bathra^ 90 a, 
' See Sifrt^ 123 b^ and B, Maia^ and Berackoth^ 16 a. 
^ Beradkotkt 170. 
I 



114 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

quite answer to our altered conditions and ever varying 
problems. But this need not prevent us from perceiv- 
ing, in any efforts to diminish poverty, a divine work to 
which they also contributed their share. For if the 
disappearance of poverty and suffering is a condition 
of the kingdom of the Messiah, or, in other words, of 
the kingdom of God, all wise social l^islation in this 
respect must help towards its speedy advent 

It is this kingdom, as dejncted in the preceding re- 
marks in its larger features, with both its material and 
spiritual manifestations, that Israel is to express and 
establish. With this, it enters upon the stage of his- 
tory. With its varying fortunes its own destiny is 
inseparably connected ; and with Israel's final triumph, 
the kingdom will become fully effective. Or, as the 
Rabbis expressed it, it is only ''with the redemption of 
Israel that the kingdom of heaven will be complete." 
Israel is the microcosm in which all the conditions of 
the kingdom are to find concrete expression. In the 
establishment of its institutions, in the rdgn of its law, 
in the peace and happiness of its people, the world 
would find the prototype and manifestation of these 
ideals in which universal holiness would be expressed. 
Not until these conditions were realised in Israel could 
like conditions obtain universally. The Rabbis have 
given expression to this correspondence of universalistic 
and national elements in the following statement: A 
solemn declaration has the Holy One, blessed be he, 
registered: I will not enter the heavenly Jerusalem 



iBtmitm 



-1 r — - •• - 



THE KINGDOM OF GOD (NATIONAL) 115 



until Israel shall come to the earthly Jerusalem. Thus 
Rabbinic Judaism does find a perfect consonance be- 
tween Israel's establishment of the divine institutions 
in their full int^rity in God's own land, and the 
triumph in all its glory of the kingdom of Heaven/ 

1 See Jf. 7"., 99 1. See alio Taaniik^ 5 6, The references speak of 
the oath. 



vm 



THE "LAW" 



The Law derives its authority from the king^oixL 
For this, according to the Rabbis; is the meaning of 
the scriptural words, "I am the Lord thy God," or 
"The Lord your God," with which certain groups of 
laws are introduced (e.g. Exod. 222 and Lev. 182); 
that is, God makes his people conscious of the fact 
of his claims on them because of their having received 
his kingdom, saying unto them, "You have received 
my kingdom in love." "Aye" and "Aye" answers 
Israel, wherefore God says, "If you have received my 
kingdom, you receive now my decrees." * 

Now the current notions about the Law or Torah 
are still so misleading that before entering upon the 
meaning and theological significance of the "decrees," 
a brief analysis of the term Tarah seems most ad- 
visable. Even the hypothesis advanced by higher 
criticism, according to which it was just under the 
predominance of the Law that the Wisdom Literature 
was composed and most of the PsaUns were written, 
had no effect on the general prejudice of theologians 
against the Torah. With a few exceptions our theo- 

1 r. AT., 85 d; JifeckiUa, 67 a, 67 h 

116 



THE "LAW 117 

logians still enlarge upon the "Night of Legalism," 
from the darkness of which religion only emerges by 
a miracle supposed to have taken place about the year 
30 of our era.* 

An examination of the meaning of Tor ah and Miz- \ 
voih to the Jew will show that Legalism was neither \ 
the evil thing conmionly imagined nor did it lead to the | 
evil consequences assumed by our theologians. Nor 
has it ever constituted the whole religion of the Jew, as 
declared by most modem critics. 1 

It must first be stated that the term Law or 
Nomas is not a correct rendering of the Hebrew 
word Torah, The legalistic element, which might 
rightly be called the Law, represents only one side of 
the Torah. To the Jew the word Torah means a 
teaching or an instruction of any kind. It may be 
either a general principle or a specific injimction, 
whether it be found in the Pentateuch or in other 
parts of the Scriptures, or even outside of the canon. 
The juxtaposition in which Torah and Mizwoth, 
^??^l58-JSi-Cpmmandments, are to be found in 
the Rabbinic literature, implies already that the former 
means something more than merely the Law.' Torah 
and Mitzvoth are a complement to each other, or, as 
a Rabbi expressed it, "they borrow from each other, 
as wisdom and understanding — charity and loving- 

^ See Mr. Isrmel Abrahams, /rurtM Quarterly Review, ii : 626-642. 
See alio Schechter, Studies in Judaism, p. 219 seq, 

* See, for instance, JBerackotA, 31 a; Makkoth, 23 a ; Aboth, 3 u. 



Ii8 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

kindness — the moon and the stars," but they are 
not identical.^ To use the modem phraseology, to the 
Rabbinic Jew, Torah was both an institution and a 
faith. We shall treat them separately: first Torah, 
and then the Mitzvoth. 

It is true that in Rabbinic literature the term Torah 
is often applied to the Pentateuch to the exclusion of 
the Prophets and the Hagiographa.' But this is chiefly 
for the purpose of classification. It is also true that 
to a certain extent the Pentateuch is put on a hi^er 
level than the Prophets — the prophetic vision of Moses 
having been, as the Rabbis avow, much clearer than 
that of his successors.' But we must not forget that 
for the superiority of the Torah, they had the scriptural 
authority of the Torah itself (Num. 12 e-s, Deut 
34 10), whilst on the other hand they could not 
find in the Prophets anything deprecatory of Moses' 
superior authority. They may, occasionally, have 
felt some contradictions between the Prophets and the 
Torah, but only in matters of detail, not in matters of 
principle.* 

1 Sec Exod, R^ 31 u. 

' See, for instance, MegiUak^ 31 a ; Baba BaAra^ 13 J^ and 
ebewhere. 

' Set /ehamoth^ 49 b ; Lev, R,, I. 

* See the well-known pasages abont Ezekiel in SkahkUk^ 13 k^ and 
Afenachoth, 45 a. The contradictions are there reconciled to the nt> 
isfaction of the Rabbis at least. See also below, p. 187. A contiadio- 
tion which they did not try to reconcile was that between Isa. 6 I9 
** I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne," and Moses in Ezod. 33 m, 
** For there shall no man see me, and lire " {JtbawtoU^ 49 h). Saa 



THE ''LAW*' 119 

Of any real antagonism between Mosaism and 
"Leviticalism" and Prophetism, which modem criti- 
cism asserts to have brought to light, the Rabbis were 
absolutely unconscious. With the Rabbis, the Proph- 
ets formed only a complement or even a commen- 
tary to the Torah (a species of Agadah), which, 
indeed, needed explanation, as we shall see. Hence 
the fkitvetif as we may almost call it, with which the 
Rabbis chose, for reading on the Day of Atonement, 
the 58th chapter of Isaiah — one of the most prophetic 
pieces of prophetism — as the accompanying lesson for 
the portion from the Pentateuch, Leviticus 16 — the 
most Levitical piece in Leviticalism. 

But even the Pentateuch is no mere legal code, 
without edifying elements in it. The Book of Genesis, 
the greater part of Exodus, and even a part of Numbers 
are simple history, recording the past of humanity 
on its way to the kingdom, culminating in Israel's 
entering it on Mount Sinai, and their subsequent 
relapses. The Book of Deuteronomy, as the "Book 
containing the words of exhortation" (Tochachoth),^ 
forms Israel's ImikUio Dei, consisting chiefly in good- 
ness,' and supplying to Israel its confession of faith 
(in the Shema) ; whilst the Book of Leviticus — marvel 

Jolowicz't Himmelfahrt^ etc,^ des Propheten Jesaiah^ p. 7, Leipzig, 1854. 
But it is significant that it is the wicked Manasseh who saw this con- 
tradiction. 

^ Sifre^ 64 a, 

* See Sifre^ 74 a, 85 a ; Mechilta^ 37 a and parallels. See also 
helow, p. aoo. 



1/ 



I20 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

upon marvel — first proclaims that prmciple of loving 
one's neighbour as one's self (Lev. 19 is) which 
believers call Christianity, unbelievers, Humanity. 

The language of the Midrash would seem to imply 
that at a certain period there were people who held the 
narratives of the Bible in slight estimation, looking 
upon them as fictions (Piyutim) and useless stories. 
The Rabbis, however, reject such a thought with 
indignation. To them the whole of the Torah repre- 
sented the word of God, dictated by the Holy Spirit, 
suggesting edifying lessons everjrwhere, and embodying 
even while it speaks of the past, a history of humanity 
written in advance.^ "The Book of Generations of 
Adam," that is, the history of the Genesis, in which 
the dignity of man is indicated by the fact of his having 
been created in the image of God, teaches, according 
to Ben Azai, even a greater principle than that of 
Lev. 19, in which the law of loving one's neighbour as 
oneself is contained.' Another Rabbi deduces from 
the repetitions in Gen. 24 the theory that the con- 
versation of the servants of the patriarchs is more 
beautiful than the laws even of later generations.' 
Another Rabbi remarks that the Torah as a legal code 
would only have commenced with Exod* 12, where 
the first (larger) group of laws is set forth, but God's 
object was to show his people the power of his work, 

1 See Gen. R.^ 85 9; Sijre^ 33 a ; Sanhtdriih 99 h M. T^ 3 1. 
* 7: A"., 89 b, and parmllels. QL Bacber, Ag. Tom., i m. 



THE ''LAW* lai 

"that he may give them the inheritance of the heathen" 
(Ps. Ill 6), and thus, in the end, justify the later 
history of their conquests.^ 

The Book of Genesis, which contains the history 
of this manifestation of God's powers, as revealed in 
the act of creation as well as in the history of the patri- 
archs, and leads up to the story of the Exodus from 
Egypt, is, according to some Rabbis, the book of the 
covenant which Moses read to the people (Exod. 24 7) 
even before the act of revelation. To come into the 
possession of this book (the Book of Genesis), which 
unlocked before them one of the inner chambers 
of the king (or revealed to them the holy mysteries 
of God's working in the world), was considered by the 
Rabbis one of the greatest privileges of Israel, given 
to them as a reward for their submission to God's 
will.' 

Thus Torah, even as represented by the Pentateuch, 
is not mere Law, the Rabbis having discerned and 
appreciated in it other than merely legal elements. 
Moreover, the term Torah is not always confined to 
the Pentateuch. It also extends, as already indicated, 
to the whole of the Scriptures on which the Rabbis 
"laboured" with the same spirit and devotion as on 
the Pentateuch- For indeed "the Torah is a triads ^ 
composed of Pentateuch, Prophets, and Hagiographa." 
" Have I not written to thee the three things in counsels 

1 See Tan, B,, i 4 a. Cf. Rashi to Gen. i 1. 

« See MeckUta, 63 b. Cf. Cant. R,, i 4, on mn T^an ^3ran. 



123 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

and in knowledge?" ^ That lessons from the Prophets 
almost always accompanied those taken from the 
Pentateuch is a well-known fact,' as likewise that the 
Talmid Chacham, or the student, had to beautify 
himself with the knowledge of the twenty-four books 
of which the Bible consists, even as a bride adorns 
herself with twenty-four different kinds of orna- 
ments.' That this injunction was strictly fulfilled 
by the student is clear from the facility and fre- 
quency with which the Rabbis quoted the Prophets 
and the Hagiographa. A striking instance may be 
seen in the MechiUa, a small work of not more than 
about seventy octavo pages when stripped from its 
commentaries; it has about one thousand citations 
from the Prophets and the Hagiographa. 

"The sinners in Israel" (probably referring to the 
Samaritans), the Rabbis complain, "contend that 
the Prophets and the Hagiographa are not Torah, 
but are they not already refuted by Daniel (9 10), 
who said, 'Neither have we obeyed the voice of the 
Lord our God, to walk in his Toroth which he set before 
us by his servants the prophets.'" Hence, the Rabbis 
proceed to say, Asaph's exclamation in Ps. 78^ 
" Give ear, O my people, to my Toroth." * Note, in 

1 See Tan., B. 2 rr a (§8), and Midrask Frtv^ 22 if^ tot tad 
notes, urging the DTSTTtt?. 

^ See Zunz, GotUsdiensUUkt Vifrirdgit, p. 3 (2d ed.), and Schftrei'i 
Geschichte, 2 awf. • See Exod, R^ 41 s. 

« See M, T., 78 1, and Tam.^ mr% I. CX Bacher, Tenmimsio- 
gie, 2 ii. 



THE ''LAW*' 123 

passing, that this Psalm, which claims to be Torah, is 
nothing but a risumi of Israel's history. With the 
Rabbinic Jews, the Hagiographa formed an integral 
part of their holy Scriptures. " The prophets of truth 
and righteousness" were, as can be seen from the bene- 
diction preceding the weekly lesson from the Prophets, 
God's chosen ones, in the same way as the Torah, 
as his servant Moses, and his people Israel — the 
depository of revelation.* In olden times they had even 
a special benediction before they began to read either 
the Prophets or the Hagiographa, nmning thus, 
"Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, who hast com- 
manded us to read the holy writings." ' This was quite 
in accordance with their principle regarding prophecy 
as "the word of God,"* and the continuation of his 
voice heard on Mount Sinai,* a voice which will cease 
only with the Messianic times, — perhaps for the 
reason that the earth will be full of the knowledge of 
God and all the people of the Lord will be prophets.' 

1 See Baer, p. 226. In Masecfuih Soferim, ch. XIII, the words 
1&9 7inBr31 are omitted. 

* See Masecheth Softrim, ch. XIV, and NoUs, p. 188. 

* Shabbath^ 138 b, 

^ See Sifre^ 92 a, and parallels given in the Notes. MHG., 17p31 

rra: ^pa wowa cf. ma. 114 a, *?u n-1101 min nan *?» nmo 
Diran nan. see also Sifre, 135 b, onK rbv' p rona -oa wo-i 

" Lord of the world, thou hast written. If a man put away his wife," etc, 
which is a yerse in Jer. 3 1. Cf. Blau, Zur EinUitung in die Heilige 
Schrifl, p. 14. See also Bacher, Terminologies I 107; 2 as9. 

* Set Jer, Megillah^ 70 d, and the commentaries. Cf. also Maimoni- 
dct* Mishnek Torah, rD13Pn n'?''Ja ms'^n, 2 is, and the "D'lm fWH. 



124 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

Says R. Isaac, "All that the Prophets will reveal in 
(succeeding) generations had been received by them 
on Mount Sinai." "And so he says, 'The burden of 
the word of the Lord to Israel by the hand of 
Malachi.' It is not said 'In the days of Malacki,* 
for the prophecy was already in his hands (since the 
revelation) on Mount Sinai." And so Isaiah, "From 
the time that it (the Torah) was (revealed) I was 
there," and received this prophecy, "but it is now 
that the Lord God and his spirit has sent me." ^ 

It is in harmony with this spirit — the Prophets and 
the Hagiographa being a part of Israel's Torah — that 
the former are cited in Rabbinic literature with the 
terms "for it is said" or "it is written" in the same 
wa}'s as the Pentateuch. Again, in the well-known 
controversy about the scriptural authority for the 
belief in resurrection, both the Prophets and the 

The ipecial emphasis of the Jemshalmi of the Pentateuch^ retainiiig 
its importance even after the Messiah has come, is, as is weD knoim, 
the resolt of the opposition to sectarian teaching, demandtag the abo- 
lition of the Law. The answer of the Rabhis was therefore that even 
the authority of the Messiah himself will not prevail againit that of 
Moses. In this sense also — as opposition to this teaching ^-nrait 
be understood the passage in /tr, BeracAdk^ 3 6 and paraUeb^ wbeie 
the prophet, so to say, is reonired to bring his imprimatnr firom the 
Torah, Dn*n ^^ ptcszaci *7r, the prophet withoot soch m legiti- 
mation being very probably an antinomianiit. Hence also the cflbit 
made by the Rabbis to prove that the Pentatench alreadj ^iHtrrt*** 
the teachings of the KethuHm. See TitanUk^ go, 

^ See Z/v. ^., 28 6 and commentaries. Ct Oppenhdm in Gciger^ 
J&dische ZeiUchrift^ 11, p. 82 ieq. See also Frukl in ErtA 
Gruber, 2 sec., Bd 33, pp. 15-34. 



THE ''LAW* 125 

Hagiographa are quoted under the name of Torah; 
and the evidence brought forward by them seems to 
be of as much weight as that derived from the Penta- 
teuch.* In the New Testament they also occasionally 
appear under the title of Nomos or Law. To the Jew, 
as already pointed out, the term Torah implied a 
teaching or instruction, and was therefore wide enough 
to embrace the whole of the Scriptures.* 

In a certain manner it is extended even beyond the 
limits of the Scriptiures. When certain Jewish Bos- 

^ Sanhedrin, 91 ^ ; see also MechiUa, 34 b, 40 b, Cf. Blau, as 
abore, pp. 16, 17. For more instances, see D^ITSJ fTIITI by R. Hirsch 
ChajaSy pp. 2 a and 3, 5 a, 9 a, 10 b. This book contains the best expo- 
sition of the Rabbinical conception of the importance of the Prophets 
both from a Halachic and Hagadic point of view, and their relation to 
the Pentateuch. The student will find that a good deal that was 
written on the subject by other writers is mere talk due to the ignorance 
of Rabbinic literature. 

^ See Schfirer's Geschichte, 2 s68,note 17, for the references from the 
New Testament. Following Weber (p. 79), SchOrer seizes the oppor- 
tunity of making the remark that there is perhaps nothing more char- 
acteristic of the full appreciation of their importance on the part of 
the Jews than that they too (the Prophets and the Hagiographa) were 
not first of all to the Jewish conviction didactic or consolatory works, 
not books of edification or history, but were considered chiefly as Law, 
the substance of God*s claim upon his people. So far SchUrer, which 
of course only proves again to what misconception the rendering of 
Torah by Law must lead. Besides, we find that the Rabbis had such 
specification for the various books in the Bible as QrW2 T)WT "nfiD for 
the Exodus (see Blau, as above), mrOITI for Deuteronomy (see 
above). The PSalms again are called the Book of Praises or Hymn 
Book, whilst the whole of the Kethubim are the Books of Wisdom {P. 
K^ 158^), and Isaiah was chiefly characterised as the "work of con- 
solation " {^Baba Baihra^ 14 a). 



126 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

wells apologised for observing the private life of their 
masters too closely, they said, "It is a Torah, which 
we are desirous of learning." ^ In this sense it is used 
by another Rabbi, who maintained that even the every- 
day talk of the people in the Holy Land is a Torah 
(that is, it conveys an object lesson). For the poor 
man in Palestine, when applying to his neighbour for 
relief, was wont to say, "Acquire for thyself merit, or 
strengthen and purify thyself" (by helping me);* 
thus implying the adage — that the man in want is 
just as much performing an act of charity in receiv- 
ing as his benefactor in giving. In the east of Europe 
we can, even to-day, hear a member of the congregation 
addressing his minister, " Pray, tell me some Torah.*' 
The Rabbi would never answer him by reciting verses 
from the Bible, but would feel it incumbent on him to 
give him some spiritual or aUegprical explanation of 
a verse from the Scriptures, or would treat him to some 
general remarks bearing upon morals and conduct. 

^ BeracMoth^ 62 a. See also QuLJai, as aborei 8 Ji. 
* Lev, R^ 34 7. 



DC 



THE LAW AS PERSONIFIED IN THE 

LITERATURE 

To return to Torah proper. It is the Torah as the 
sum total of the contents of revelation, without special 
regard to any particular element in it, the Torah as a 
faith, that is so dear to the Rabbi. It is the Torah in 
this abstract sense, as a revelation and a promise, the 
expression of the will of God, which is identified with 
the wisdom of Prov. 8, thus gaining, in the course of 
history, a pre-mundane existence, which, so to speak, 
formed the design according to which God mapped out 
the world. Said Rabbi Hoshayah, "It is written of 
Wisdom, 'Then (before the world was created) I was 
with him amon, and was daily his delight, rejoicing 
alwa]^ before him.' The word amon is to be read 
uman, meaning architect. For as a king employs an 
architect when he proposes to build a palace, and looks 
into his plans and designs to know where the various 
recesses and chambers shall be placed, so did Grod look 
into the Torah when he was about to create the world." * 

^ See Gin. JP., i and parallels. Cf. Bacher, A^, Am,, i io7, and his 
references to Freudenthal and the Jewiih Quarterly Review^ 3 
ssT-sw. See also YtoitxuxtOXiCfint, Job and Solomon^ pp. 160-162. See 
also aboTe, p. 13, note 4. 

197 



128 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

How far the idea is originally Jewish is not here the 
place to discuss. Nor is its meaning quite clear when 
subject to an analysis. One of the later commenr 
tators of the Midrash tries to connect it with the 
D'QC&X theory, that is, the limitation-mystery of the 
later cabalists, according to which the act of creation 
was an ciSuence of God's ineffable goodness and mercy 
— when he withdrew himself into himself, and thus 
revealed from himself the universe. But it is not quite 
clear what part the Torah pla]^ in this mj^tical s]^- 
tem.^ As far as any definite meaning may be attached 
to such hazy and nebulous ideas, it may perhaps be 
reduced to this: that the Torah having been long 
destined to become a main factor in God's government 
of the world, its creation must have been predesigned 
by God before he called the world into existence. In 
this sense the Torah is classed with other creations of 
God which are endowed with pre-mundane exbtence, 
as Israel, the throne of God (kingdom?), the name 
of the Messiah, hell and paradise (or reward and 
punishment), and repentance.* With regard to re- 
pentance, the Chapters of Rabbi Eliezer teach, When 
God designed the world he found no firm basis for 
it until he created the quality of repentance.' The 
same thought of the impossibility of a world with- 
out a revelation may perhaps also have been present 

1 Sec ^'nno vmrt to Cen, ^., i. 

^ See Gen. /?,, i i, and all the parallels given there, which are Tecy 
varying. * See P. R. E,, j. See alio below, p. 314. 



LAW AS PERSONIFIED IN UTERATURE 129 

to the mind of the Jew when he spoke of the pre- 
mundane existence of the Torah. 

Plausible, however, as this explanation may be, it 
is a little too rationalistic and would hardly account for 
that exaltation of the Torah which is such a prominent 
feature in Jewish literature. As soon as the Torah 
was identified with the Wisdom of Proverbs, the mind 
did not rest satisfied with looking upon it as a mere 
condition for the existence of the world. Every 
connotation of the term Wisdom in the famous 
eighth chapter of Proverbs was invested with life 
and individuality. The Torah, by this same process, 
was personified and endowed with a mystical life of its 
own, which emanates from God, yet is partly detached 
from him. Thus we find the Torah pleading for or 
against Israel, as on the occasion of the destruction of 
the Temple, when the Torah was called to give evidence 
against Israel, but desisted from it at the instance of 
Abraham, who said imto her, " My daughter, were not 
my children the only ones who received thee, when thou 
wast rejected by other nations?" * Nay, even single 
letters of the alphabet are endowed with a separate 
life, enabling them to act the same part almost as the 
Torah.* The whole later mystical theory which de- 
generates into the combinations of letters to which the 
most important meaning is attached, takes its origin 
from these personifications. 

^ See Lament. R,, Introduction, I. See also Lev, R,, 19 and parallels. 
« See Gen. R., i. Ci, P, R., 109 a. 



130 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

This notion of the personification of the Torah never 
hardened into an article of faith. Its influence is less 
felt in dogma than in literature, particularly in the 
legends and scriptural interpretations bearing on the 
subject of the revelation on Mount SinaL We must, 
at least, consider them in their main features. 

First, the day of revelation is considered as the day 
on which earth was wedded to heaven. The barrier 
between them was removed by the fact that the Torah, 
the heavenly bride, the daughter of the Holy One, was 
wedded to Israel on that day.^ The simile is carried 
further, and even the feature of the capture of the 
bride is not missing, — the verse in Ps. 68 19, "Thou 
hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive/' 
being interpreted as referring to Moses, who ascended 
to heaven and captured the Torah, in spite of the 
resistance of the angels, who were most reluctant to 
allow the Torah, the desirable treasure, to be taken 
away from among them.' Our planet is in constant 
fear lest Israel should imitate the example of their 
heathen neighbours, which would signify its doom 
to destruction. Hence the attention of the whole uni- 
verse is directed to this glorious act. When God gave 
the Torah we read that the creatures of the firmament 
paused in their flight, those of the earth ventured 
not to lift up their voices, the waves of the 



1 Sc€ /*. AT., 104 3, and Exod, R^TP^ZZ '• 

s See Shabbath, 89 b\ P. R^ 98 tf, and ^; and Exod, R^ a6l ud 
parallels. 



LAW AS PERSONIFIED IN LITERATURE 131 

seas ceased to roll, and the angels interrupted their 
eternal song of " Holy, Holy, Holy," * — heaven and 
earth listening to the good message. 

This listening of the universe suggests the xmi- 
versalistic feature of the Sinaitic revelation. Though 
magnifying Israel for their readiness to receive the 
Torah, and strongly blaming the gentiles who refused 
to subject themselves to the word of God, so that a 
certain animosity comes down from Mount Sinai against 
the worshipper of idols,* these legends still betray a 
universalistic tendency as to the real and original 
purpose of the revelation. Thus with reference to 
Isa, 45 19, God is supposed to have said: "I have 
not spoken (the word of the revelation) in secret. I 
did not reveal it in hidden places and in dark comers 
of the earth." Nor did God postpone the giving of 
the Torah till Israel should enter into the Holy Land, 
lest Israel might claim it for themselves and say that 
the nations of the world have no share in it (in other 
words, it was not God's intention^ to make it a national 
religion). He gave it in open places, in the free desert, 
so that every man feeling the desire might receive it. 
Nor did he say first to the children of Jacob, " Seek ye 
me."' For, as we read in other places, the Holy 

^ ExmH JP., 29f. * Shabbath^ 89 a. 

* See MeehiUa^ 62 a, 66 b^ the whole passage beginning *1!3*l&d )3m. 
The text is not quite correct, bat the driit of the thought is as we have 
St here. See Notes to the passage, and cf. Bacher, Ag» Tan,, 2 lei, note 
I ; and Aruck, ed. Kohut, s.v. OSit. See also YaiJkui Machiri 
MS //tf., p. 156^ read DlJlfi instead of D:3fi. The MUG. reads 

fvuD rrav {HD Tins nhik p^rnsn Tnwn \ih ^sivpd m. 



132 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

one, blessed be he, came first to the sons of Esau and 
ofifered to them the Torah. These asked, "What is 
written in it ?" God answered, "Thou shalt not kilL" 
" We cannot accept it," they rejoined, " killing being 
our profession." Other nations objected to it on 
account of the seventh and eighth commandments, 
immorality and the appropriation of other men's pos- 
sessions being the purposes of their lives, and the 
motive-springs of their actions, and so they said, " For 
the knowledge of thy ways, we have no desire — give 
thy Torah to thy people." * 

It is rather characteristic of these legends, which 
probably reflect the attitude of the Rabbis towards the 
missionary enterprises of their time, that it is chiefly 
the moral part of the decalogue to which the nations 
objected. Esau is broad enough for general prin- 
ciples and will admit the Jewish God into his pantheon, 
if he submit to the process of acconmiodatu>n and 
evolution so that he can share his honours with other 
gods. Esau objected to the "Do nots." These were 
too definite to allow of a wide interpretation in which 
the wisdom of Edom excelled, and might thus interfere 
with Esau's calling, his gladiators, his legions, and the 
policy of his procurators. 

Thus Mount Sinai becomes the place in which God 
reveals himself to the world, and Israel undertakes the 
terrible responsibility of bearing witness to this fact 

1 See Mechilta, ibid.; Sifre, 142b; Lamtni R^ 31 ; P. R.R^^ 
41 ; P. R^^b and panllels. 



LAW AS PERSONIFIED IN UTERATURE 133 

" If you will not make known my divinity (divine nature) 
to the nations of the world, even at the cost of your lives, 
you shall suffer for this iniquity," said God.* Though, 
indeed, the whole of creation has the duty to join in 
his praise and to bear witness to his divinity (divine 
power), Israel is especially commanded to invite all 
mankind to serve God and to believe in him, even as 
Abraham did, who made God beloved by all the crea- 
tures. And so intensely should we love him that we 
should also make others love him. For those who 
make God beloved by mankind are much greater than 
the mere lovers.' By this acceptance of the Torah, 
Israel made peace between God and his world,' the 
ultimate end being that its influence will reach the 
heathen too, and all the gentiles will one day be con- 
verted to the worship of God ; * for the Torah " is not 
the Torah of the Priests, nor the Torah of the Levites, 
nor the Torah of the Israelites, but the Torah of Man 
(Torath ha- Adam), whose gates are open to receive 
the righteous nation which keepeth the truth and those 
who are good and upright in their hearts." * 

Another important feature in these legends and 
interpretations is the fact that the revelation was an 
act of grace and the effluence of God's goodness. 
When the princes of the world heard the thunders 

^ See Lev, i?., 6 6, and commentaries. Cf. also M, 7"., 19 1. 
s See Maimonides, 3, M» DU DTt'D. Cf. M, T^ 19 1, and Midrash 
Tannaim, ed. Hoffmann, p. 40. See also M, T., 18 7. 

* Gm, ^., 66s. « See Berachoth, 54 b. ^ T. K,, 86 b. 



134 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

and lightnings which accompanied the revelation, the 
were frightened, thinking the world was to pass throng; 
another judgement as it did in the da]^ of the deluge 
whereupon they consulted their prophet Balaam. H 
calmed their fears, saying: ''Fear not, ye kings, h 
who dwells in heaven has revealed himself to his chil 
dren in his glory and his mercy. He has appeared, t 
give to his beloved people Torah, wisdom, and instnic 
tion,* and to bless them with strength and peace." * I 
another passage it is stated that Grod appeared on thi 
occasion in the aspect of an instructing Elder, full c 
mercy.* Like rain and light, the Torah was a gil 
from heaven of which the world is hardly worthj 
but which is indispensable to its maintenance.^ 

The gift was a complete one, without any reserv 
whatever. Nothing of the Torah, God assures Israei 
was kept back in heaven.' All that follows is only 
matter of interpretation. The principle held by th 
Rabbis was that the words of the Torah "are fruitft 
and multiply." • Thus the conviction could ripen tha 
everything wise and good, be it ethical or ceremonis 
in its character, the efifect of which would be t 
strengthen the cause of religion, was at least poten 
tially contained in the Torah. Hence the famou 
adage, that everything which any student will teach a 
any future time, was already communicated to Mose 
on Mount Sinai, as also the injimction that any accept 

1 See /*. ^., 95 a. ^ Stt Sifre, 1^2 b. * Stt AfecAilia, 66 b. 
4 Gen. ^., 64. * Di$U, R,, 8e. •See Chagigak^ 3^. 



Itmrilatmmal^tm'^mmmaammmmmmumr^~i pi i«. h — i^- 



LAW AS PERSONIFIED IN UTERATURE 135 

able truth, though discovered by an insignificant man 
in Israel, should be considered of as high authority as 
if it had emanated from a great sage or prophet or even 
from Moses himself.* It requires but an earnest 
religious mind to discover all truth there. For the 
Torah came down from heaven with all the necessary 
instnmients: humility, righteousness, and upright- 
ness — and even her reward was in her.' And man 
has only to apply these tools to find in the Torah 
peace, strength, life, light, bliss, happiness, joy, and 
freedom.' 

The Torah was, in short, all things to all men. To 
the Theosophist, who had already come under the sway 
of Hellenistic influences, it was the very expression 
of God's wisdom, which he would, as far as it is con- 
sistent with Biblical notions, elevate into an emana- 
tion of God's essence, and endow with a pre-mundane 
existence, reaching almost to infinity. To the mystical 
poet, with his love for the picturesque, it was the 
heavenly bride adorned with all the virtues which only 
heaven could bestow on her, at whose presentation to 
Israel the whole imiverse rejoiced, for her touch with 
mankind meant the wedding of heaven to earth. 
What, then, could the poor mortal do better than to 
learn to know her and to fall in love with her? 

To the great majority of the Rabbis who retained 

» Sc« Sifre, 79 b, 2 d^^^ ^.^ ,-^,v. 

» See P. K,t 105 b ; Mechilta, 36 b, 47 ; Sifre «, 82 ^, 83 ^ ; Exod, 
-^.,36«. 



136 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

their sober sense, and cared more about what God 
requires us to be than about knowing what he is, the 
Torah was simply the manifestation of God's will, 
revealed to us for our good; the pedagogue, as the 
Rabbis expressed it,* who educates God's creatures. 
The occupation with the Torah was, according to the 
Rabbis, less calculated to produce schoolmen and 
jurists than saints and devout spirits. "Whosoever 
labours in the Torah for its own sake, merits many 
things ... he is called friend, beloved, a lover of 
God, a lover of mankind; it clothes him in meekness 
and fear (of God), and fits him to become righteous, 
pious, and upright; it keeps him far from sin, brings 
him towards the side of virtue, and gives him sover- 
eignty and dominion and discerning judgement. To 
him the secrets of the Torah are revealed ; he becomes 
a never failing fountain, he grows modest and long- 
suffering, forgives insults, and is exalted above all 
things." * On the other hand, his individualism 
does not make him exclusive, his freedom does not 
involve the subjection of others, the world rejoices in 
him, for he enriches it with sound knowledge, under- 
standing, and strength.' His life is one even like that 
of Moses, a continuous mourning for the glory of God 
and the glory of Israel (at present obscured) and a con- 

1 Sec Gen, R., I. Cf. 'TaSttDT TlO^^n C» mSK, etc., by R. ITTl HS 
{^^p&, to Kinyan Torak^ 3 ^> 4 ^'i the passage giTen there from the 
Mechilta of Ishmael, but not to be found there. 

^ See Kinyan Torah and Friedmann, D7TfiD3, p. 15 uq. 

* Kinyan Torah^ ibid. 



LAW AS PERSONIFIED IN LITERATURE 137 

stant longing for their salvation,* whilst his activity (a 
continuation of the revelation) is making peace between 
heaven and earth.' In sooth, Israel has recognised the 
strength (or the secret) of the Torah; therefore, they 
said, "We forsake not God and his Torah, as it is said : 
'I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and 
his fruit was sweet to my taste ' " (Song of Songs 23). ' 

In fine, to the Jew the Torah was anything but a 
curse. He understood how to find out the sweetness 
and the light of it and of the Law which formed a 
part of it. 

^ See 5. £»tVP' ^7 ^'^^ ^3- ^ ^^^ Sanhtdrin, 99 b. 

* Set £xod, Ji,, 17 a. 



THE TORAH IN ITS ASPECT OF LAW 

(MEWOTH) 

R. SiMLAi, a well-known Agadic teacher and con- 
troversialist of the third centiuy, said as follows: 
"Six hundred and thirteen commandments were 
delivered unto Moses on Mount Sinai; three hundred 
and sixty-five of which are prohibitive laws, corre- 
sponding to the number of days of the solar year, 
whilst the remaining two hundred and forty-eight are 
affirmative injunctions, being as numerous as the 
limbs constituting the human body." ^ This is one of 
the earlier comments on the number of the six hundred 
and thirteen laws, which are brought forward in many 
of our theological works, with the purpose of proving 
imder what burden the scrupulous Jew must have la- 
boured, who considered himself under the duty of 
performing all these enactments. The number is, by 
its very strangeness, bewildering; and the Pharisee, 
unable to rise to the heights above the Law, lay under 



1 Makkoth, 23 b and parallels, in Uie tTTO TK^ (where rfTSB 
ought to be corrected into K'^). Cf. Bacher, Ag. Am,, i m, and 
notes. The earliest known source for this number is probsbly MedkUtB 
67 a. Cf. also Sifre, 90 d. See also Bloch, I^evtu des £imdu Jfdmtt 
I 197 i/^p, and 309 s€f. 

138 



TORAH IN ITS ASPECT OF LAW {MIZWOTH) 139 

the curse of its mere quantity. A few words as to the 
real value of these statistics are therefore necessary, 
before we pass to other questions connected with our 
subject. 

The words with which the saying of R. Simlai is intro- 
duced are/ "He preached," or "he interpreted," and 
they somewhat suggest that these numbers were in some 
way a subject for edification, deriving from them some 
moral lesson. The lesson these numbers were intended 
to convey was, first, that each day brings its new tempta- 
tion only to be resisted by a firm Do not ; and, on the 
other hand, that the whole man stands in the service of 
God, each limb or member of his body being entrusted 
with the execution of its respective fimctions.' This was 
probably the sentiment which the preacher wished to 
impress upon his congregation, without troubling 
himself much about the accuracy of his numbers. 
How little, indeed, we are justified in urging these 
numbers too seriously is clear from the sequel of 
R. Simlai's homily. It nms thus : " David came (after 
Moses) and reduced* them (the six hundred and 

^ ^ICtOV^ n ttm in most of the parallels. 

* CX P. K,, loi a, and Rashi to Makkoth, ibid, Cf. also Tan,y 
IQQ% 3. There are, however, grave doubts whether the subdivision in 
365 and 248 (the words in the Talmud from H'^DV to D1K) is not a 
later addition. Cf. Bacher, ibid, 

» The word in the Talmud and in Tan,^ DnSBW end is pPOim, 
which may mean "compressed" or ''reduced." See Bacher, ibid 
I take here the version of the Talmud, omitting the additional dis- 
ciistioiis. Cf. also AT. 7*., 15, end. 



I40 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

thirteen commandments) to eleven, as it is said: Lord, 

who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell 

in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, etc^ 

Then Isaiah came and reduced them to six, as it is 

said : He that walketh righteously, etc' Then Micah 

came and reduced them to three: He hath shewed 

thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord 

require of thee, but to do justly, etc.' Then Isaiah 

came again, and reduced them to two, as it is said: 

Thus saith the Lord, Keep my judgements, and do 

justice.* Then Amos came and reduced them to one, 

as it is said : Seek the Lord and live.' Whilst Habak- 

kuk (also) reduced them to one, as it is said : But the 

just shall live by his faith.* " The drift of this whole 

passage shows that the homily was not so much intended 

; to urge the necessity of carrying out all the command- 

. ments with their numerous details, as to emphasise 

i the importance of the moral laws, which themselves, 

I nevertheless, may be compressed into the principle of 

! seeking God, or of faith in God. 

I Granted, however, that R. Simla! took it seriously 

mth his number of six himdred and thirteen: granted, 

1 Ps. 15 2-6, which venet contain eleren moral injimctioBBi Q. 
Kimchi^s commentary to this chapter. 

^ Isa. 33 16, which verse contains six moral injunctions. 
' Micah 6 8, where three moral injunctions are contained. 

* Isa. 56 1. 

' Amos 5 6. This was probably the original Tenion of R. Smilirii 
words, notwithstanding the objections made there. 

• Hab. 2 4. 



TORAH IN ITS ASPECT OP LAW (MIZWOTH) 141 

again, that his enumeration rested on some old authority 
which may be regarded as a guarantee for its exactness/ 
this would prove nothing for the "burden theory." 
The only possible explanations of our Rabbi's saying are 
the lists of R. Simon Kiara and of Maimonides.' But 
even a superficial analysis will discover that in the times 
of the Rabbis many of these commandments were already 
obsolete, as, for instance, those relating to the arrange- 
ments of the tabernacle, and to the conquest of Pales- 
tine; whilst others concerned only certain classes, as, 
for instance, the priests, the judges, the soldiers and their 
commanders, the Nazirites, the representatives of the 
community, or even one or two individuals in the whole 
population, as, for example, the king and the high priest. 
Others, again, provided for contingencies which could 
occur only to a few, as, for instance, the laws concern- 
ing divorce or levirate-marriages. The laws, again, 
relating to idolatry, incest, and the sacrifices of chil- 
dren to Moloch, could hardly be considered as coming 
within the province of the practical life even of the 
pre-Christian Jew; just as little as we can speak of 
Englishmen being under the burden of the law when 
prohibited from burning their widows or marrying 
their grandmothers, though these acts would cer- 
tainly be considered as crimes. A careful examination 
of the six hundred and thirteen laws will prove 

1 This seems to be the opinion of Maimonides. 
« The fonner in the mblta flDbn, the Utter in the mOSn nilO 
and the Introduction to the iTTin HSVD. 



I4a SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC TBEOLOGV 

that barely a hundred laws are to be found which 
concerned the everyday life of the bulk of the people.' 

, Thus the law in its totality, which by the number of its 
precepts is so terrifying, is in its greater part nothing 
else than a collection of statutes relating to different 

' sections of the community and to its multifarious insti- 
tutions, ecclesiastical as well as civil, which constituted, 
as I have already sdd, the kingdom of God. 

And here lay the strength of Judaism. The modem 
man is an eclectic being. He takes his religion from 
the Bible, his laws from the Romans, his culture from 
the classics, and his politics from his party. He is cer- 
tainly broader in his sympathies than the Jew of old ; but 
as a composite being, he must necessarily be lacking in 
harmony and unity. His sympathies are divided be- 
tween the different sources of his inspiration, — sources 
which do not, as we know, always go well together. In 
order to avoid colli^on, he has at last to draw the line 
between the ecde^astical and the civil, leaving the 
former, which in fact was forced upon him by a 
foreign religious conqueror, to a separate body of men 
whose budness it is to look after the welfare of his 
invisible soul, whilst reserving the charge of the body 
and the world to himself. 

The Rabbinic notion seems to have been that "if 
religion is anything, it is everything." The Rabbi 
gloried in the thought of being, as the Agadic expression 
runs, "a member of a city (or community) which in- 

> See SchechteT, Stmditt injudaitm, p. 301. 



TORAH IN ITS ASPECT OF LAW (MIZWOTH) 143 

eluded the priest as well as the prophet, the kmg as 
well as the scribe and the teacher," all appointed and 
established by God.* To consider the administration 
of justice with all its details as something lying without 
the sphere of Torah would have been a terrible thought 
to the ancient Jew. Some Rabbis are anxious to 
show that the appointment of judges was commanded 
to Moses, even before Jethro gave him the well-known 
advice.* The Torah, they point out, is a combination 
of mercy and justice.' That the ways of the Torah 
"are ways of sweetness, and all her paths are peace" 
(Prov. 3 17. 18), was a generally accepted axiom,* 
and went without saying ; what had to be particularly 
urged was that even such laws and institutions as appear 
to be a consequence of uncompromising right and of rigid 
truth, rather than of sweetness and peace, were also 
part and parcel of the Torah, with her God-like imi- 
versality of attributes. Hence the assertion of the/ 
Rabbis that God threatens Israel with taking back his/ 
treasure from them should they be slow in carrying; 
out the principle of justice (dinim).^ "To the nation^ 
of the earth he gave some few laws; but his love ti 
Israel was particularly manifested by the fulness and 



^ Sifri, 134 a. Cf. CAu/iin, 56 d. The passage in the text follows 
more the reading in Uie Af//G., rrO ♦ .TS vh\:n KDTD ISIK tyn 

THBTo laino roan wno rrns laino robe laino Th laino 

nVTO TSWOI lainO, etc. « See Sifre, 20 a. 

* Dent. R,t 5 7. 

* See, for instance, SuAJkaht 32 a ; Jebamoth^ 87 b^ and elsewhere. 

* ExoiL H., 30 ss. 



144 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

completeness of the Torah, which is wholly theirs." ^ 
And in it they find everything. ''If thou wantest 
advice/' the Rabbis say (even in matters secular, or 
in questions regarding behaviour and good manners), 
"take it from the Torah, even as David said. From thy 
precepts I get understanding " (Ps. 1 19 101).* 

As a fact, the old Rabbis hardly recognised such a 
chasm between the material and the spiritual as to jus- 
tify the domain of religion being confined to the latter. 
The old Rabbinic literature is even devoid of the words 
spiritual and material. The corresponding terms, ^VITI 
and "^fiV^, were coined by later translators from the 
Greek and Arabic philosophers, with whom the divi- 
sion between body and soul is so prominent. It is true 
that the Rabbis occasionally used such expressions as 
"things of the heaven" and "things of the world," or 
matters concerning "the eternal life" and matters con- 
cerning " the temporal life." ' But apart from the 
fact that they were little meant to indicate a theologi- 
cal division between two antagonistic principles, the 
"things of the heaven" covered a much wider area of 
human life than is commonly imagined. Thus we 
hear of a Rabbi who remonstrated with his son for not 
attending the lecture of his friend R. Chisda. The son 

^ Exod, R,^ iHd., 9 and |>uallelt. ' See P, iT^ 105 «. 

» Ka*?in •*re — r OCT -^ro. See e^. BeradUHk, y k, w. SksUM, 
33 6. Interesting is the arrangement in the complete edition of the 
D*)rv *£C in which all the laws concerning conduct and flaonditj are 
grouped under the heading of the duties towards God and 0MII9 wlnlit 
the ceremonial come under the heading of duties towards God aloae. 



TORAH IN ITS ASPECT OF LAW (MIZWOTH) 145 

apologised, and answered that he had once gone to the 
school of R, Chisda, but what he heard were "things 
of the world," the lecture having consisted in the expo- 
sition of a set of sanitary rules to be observed on cer- 
tain occasions. Whereupon the father rejoined indig- 
nantly: "He (R. Chisda) is occupied with the life of 
God's creatures, and dost thou venture to call such 
matters 'things of the world'?" * Elsewhere we find 
the Rabbis deciding that to teach a child a trade or a 
handicraft is to be considered as one of the "delights 
of heaven," for which arrangements may be made even 
on the Sabbath.' 

As a rule, the Rabbis spoke of sin and righteousness, 
a good action or a bad action, mSBB or rTT^aj, for 
each of which body and soul are alike held responsible. 
But no act is in itself the worse or the better for being 
a function of the body or a manifestation of the soul. 
When Hillel the Great, who, as it would seem, was the 
author, or at least the inspirer, of the saying, "JLet all 
thy deeds be for the sake^of Heaven," was about to 
take a bath, he said, " I am going to perform a religious 
act by beautifying my person, that was created in the 
image of God." • 

R. Judah Hallevi, with the instinct of a poet, hit the 

1 Skabba^ 82 a. > D'&V "atfiH. Skabbath, 150 a. 

• Sec i^. -^. N.f 33 b ; Lev, ^., 34 s; and P, ^.,115 b, " The fourth 
degree of love," uiys St. Bernard somewhere, " is to love self only for 
God'f Mike." See also the passage from the Yelamdenu reproduced in 
Jellinek's Beth Hammidrash^ 6 : 85 where it is the '*>3 (or superior 
beauty) in which the vKH Wl finds expression. 

L 



146 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

right strain when he said, in his famous IXalogue 
Kusariy '' Know that our Torah is constituted of the 
three psychological states: Fear, love, and joy " (that 
is to say, all the principal emotions of man are enlisted 
in the ser\ice of God). " By each of these thou mayest 
be brought into communion with thy God. Thy con- 
triteness in the days of fasting does not bring thee nearer 
to God than thy joy on the Sabbath days and on festi- 
vals, provided thy joy emanates from a devotional and 
perfect heart. And just as prayer requires devotion 
and thought, so does joy, namely, that thou wilt rejoice 
in his commandments for their own sake, (the only 
reasons for this rejoicing being) the love of him who 
commanded it, and the dedre of recognising God's 
goodness towards thee. Consider these feasts as if thou 
wert the guest of God invited to his table and his bounty, 
and thank him for it inwardly and outwardly. And if 
thy joy in God excites thee even to the degree of singing 
and dancing, it is a ser\ice to God, keeping thee attached 
to him. But the Torah did not leave these things to 
our arbitrary will, but put them all under control. For 
man lacks the power to make use of the functions of 
body and soul in their proper proportions." * 

The law thus conceived as submitting all the faculties 
and passions of man to the control of the divine, whilst 
supf)ressing none, was a sotu'ce of yyj and bl^ang to 
the Rabbis. Whatever meaning the words of the Apostle 
may have, when he speaks of the curse of the Law, it is 

1 Kutari (ed. Sluzki, p. 45). 



TORAH IN ITS ASPECT OF LAW (MIZWOTH) 147 

certain that those who lived and died for it considered 
it as a blessing. To them Jt was_an effluence of God's 
mercy and love. In the daily prayer of the Jews the 
same sentiment is expressed in most glowing words: 
"With everlasting love thou hast loved the house of 
Israel, thy people; Torah, commandments, statutes, 
and judgements hast thou taught us. . . . Yea, we 
will rejoice in the words of thy Torah. and thy com- 
mandments forever. . • . And mayest thou never take 
away thy love from us. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who 
lovest thy people Israel." * Beloved are Israel, whom 
the Holy One, blessed be he, surrounded with com- 
mandments, (bidding them) to have phylacteries on 
their heads and arms, a mezuzah on their door-posts, 
fringes on the four comers of their garments. . . . 
"Be distinguished," said the Holy One, blessed be 
he, to Israel, " by the commandments in order that 
ye may be pleasing unto me. Thou (Israel) art beau- 
tiful when thou art pleasing." * Indeed, there is not / . 
a single thing which is not connected with a command- "/; 
ment, be it the farm, or the home, or the garments of ^ / 
the man, or his flocks.' And it is on account of this ; 
fact that Israel considered themselves blessed in the 
dty and in the field.* It is the very light sown for the 
righteous, God not having loved anything in the world 
which is not connected with a law." 



..J 



^ See Singer, p. 69 ; Baer, p. 164. Cf. also Berachoth, 33 i ; Singer, 
p. 227; and Baer, p. 347. ^ Si/ret 75 6 and parallels. 

*7'.A^,42a. *7aii.lOn,4. ^ Num. R.,!*! hi ct Lev. R^ 6 u 



XI 



THE JOY OF THE LAW 

Law and commandments, or as the Rabbinic expres- 
sion is, Torah and Mizu'oth, have a harsh sound and 
are suggestive to the outsider of something external, 
forced up)on men by authority from the outside, sinister 
.and burdensome. The citations just given show that 
\lsrael did not consider them in that light. They were 
ttheir very love and their very life. This will become 
fclearer when we consider both the sentiment accom- 
pan}ing the performance of the Law and the motives 
urging them. 

The Hixa hlff nnac^, the joy experienced by the 
Rabbinic Jew in being commanded to fulfil the Law, 
and the enthusiasm which he felt at accomplishing that 
which he considered to be the will of God, is a point 
hardly touched upon by most theological writers, and 
if touched upon at all, is hardly ever understood. 
Yet this "joy of the Law" is so essential an element 
in the understanding of the Law, that it ''forms that 
originality of sentiment more or less delicate'' which 
can never be conceived by those who have 
it neither from life nor from literature. 

148 



\ 



THE JOY OF THE LAW 149 

How anxious a Jew was to carry out a law, and what 
joy he felt in fulfilling it, may be seen from the following 
story, which perhaps dates from the very time when the 
Law was denoimccd as slavery and as the strength of 
sin. According to Deut. 24 19, a sheaf forgotten in 
the harvest field belonged to the poor; the proprietor 
being forbidden to go again and to fetch it. This 
prohibitive law was called HHSC^ D")3tD, "the com- 
mandment with regard to forget fulness." It was im- 
possible to fulfil it as long as one thought of it. In 
connection with this we read in the Tosephta: "It 
happened to a Chasid (saint) that he forgot a sheaf in his 
field, and was thus enabled to fulfil the commandment 
with regard to forgetfulness. Whereupon he bade his 
son go to the temple, and oflfer for him a burnt -oflFering 
and a peace-oflfering, whilst he also gave a great banquet 
to his friends in honour of the event. Thereupon his 
son said to him : Father, why dost thou rejoice in this 
commandment more than in any other law prescribed 
in the Torah ? He answered, that it was the occurrence 
of the rare opportunity of accomplishing the will of 
God, even as the result of some oversight, which caused 
him so much delight." * 

This joy of the Mizwah constituted the essence of the 
action. Israel, we are told, receives especial praise for 
the fact that when they stood on Mount Sinai to receive 
the Torah, they all combined with one heart to accept 

^ Tosephta Peah^ 22. Cf. Midrash Zuta (ed. Baber, 51^). Of 
course, we must read there HdlSn K^ for ildWH. 



ISO SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

the kingdom of heaven in joy. The sons of Aaron, 
again, were glad and rejoicing when they heard words 
(of commandment) from the mouth of Moses. Again, 
'' let man fulfil the commandments of the Torah with 
joy," exclaimed a Rabbi, ''and then they wiU be 
counted to him as righteousness." ^ The words, 
'' Moses did as the Lord commanded him " (Num. 
27 22), are explained to mean that he fulfilled the Law 
with joy.' In a similar manner the words, ''I have 
done according to all that thou hast commanded me'' 
(Deut. 26 14), are interpreted to signify, I have re- 
joiced and caused others to rejoice.' Naturally, it is 
the religionist of high standard, or as the Rabbis ex- 
press it, ''the man who deserves it," who realises this 
joy in the discharge of all religious functions, whilst 
to him "who deserves it not" it may become a trial 
of purification/ But the ideal is to obtain this quality 
of joy, or "to deser\'e it." The truly righteous rejoice 
almost unconsciously, joy being a gift from heaven to 
them, as it is said, " Thou (Cjod) hast put gladness in 
my heart." • 

This principle of joy in connection with the Minoah 
is maintained both in the Talmud and in the devo- 
tional literature of the Middle Ages. The general rule 
is: Tremble with joy when thou art about to fulfil a 

1 See if/^Mt/ra, 66^; T. K,, ^ i. See alio 51 £., p. 29. Gt 
ibid., p. 95. 

s Si/re, 52 b, • IbitL^ 199 «. 

« Yoma, 72b, infi'm rat yh innava tol * s.£^ p. 97. 



THE JOY OF THE LAW 151 

commandment.^ Go d, his Sa lva^i^Ti^ apH Viiq T^w^ 
are the three things in which Israel rejoices.* Indeed, 
as R. Bachye Ibn. Bakudah declares, to mention one 
of the later moralists, it is this joy experienced by the 
sweetness of the service of God which forms a part 
of the reward of the religionist, even as the prophet 
said, " Thy words were found, and I did eat them ; and 
thy word was imto me the joy and rejoicing of mine 
heart" (Jer. 15 le).' R. Bachye Ibn Chalwah, again, 
declares that the joy accompanying the carrying out of 
a religious performance is even more acceptable to God 
than the Mizwah itself. The righteous, he points out, 
feel this ineflFable delight in performing God's will in the 
same way as the spheres and planets (whose various 
revolutions are a perpetual song to God) rejoice in their 
going forth and are glad in their returning;* whilst 
R. Joseph Askari of Safed (sixteenth century) makes 
joy one of the nece ssary conditions, without which 
a law cannot be perfectly carried out." And I may 
perhaps remark that this joy of the Mizwah was a 
living reality even in modem times. I myself had 
once the good fortune to observe one of those old 
type Jews, who, as the first morning of the Feast of 
Tabernacles drew near, used to wake and rise soon 
after the middle of the night. There he sat, with 

1 D. £, Z., 2, *P, IT., 147 tf, 194a. 

< n&pn 13, ch. nnow. 

* See (T*nn, Warsaw, 1879, p. 9. Cf. alio Albo, IkJkarim, 3»; also 
LnuatOy D^BT HTDp, 28 a. 



152 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

trembling joy, awaiting impatiently the break of dawn, 
when he would be able to fulfil the law of the palm 
branches and the willows ! 

To give one or two further instances how many more 
things there are in the Synagogue and in the Law than 
are dreamt of by our divines, I shall allude to the 
Sabbath and to prayer. 

The institution of the Sabbath is one of those laws 
the strict observance of which was already the object 
of attack on the part of the compilers of the Synoptic 
Gospels. Nevertheless, the doctrine proclsdmed in one 
of the Gospels that the Son of man is the Lord of the 
Sabbath, was also current among the Rabbis. They 
too teach that the Sabbath is delivered into the hand 
of man (to break it when necessary), and not man into 
the power of the Sabbath.^ And the Rabbis even laid 
down the axiom that a scholar living in a town, where 
there could be among the Jewish population the least 
doubt as to the question whether the Sabbath might 
be broken for the benefit of a person dangerously sick, 
was to be despised as a man neglecting his duty; every 
delay in such a case being fraught with grave conse- 
quences to the patient ; for, as Maimonides points out, 
the laws of the Torah are not meant as an infliction upon 
mankind, '' but as mercy, loving-kindness, and peace." ' 

The attacks upon the Sabbath have not abated. 
"The day is still described by almost every modem 

^ Mechilta^ 104 a. 

'/rr. YomOf 45 b, Ct Maimonides, XTI 3^ rav tTCh^ 



THE JOY OF THE LAW 153 

writer in the most gloomy colours, and long lists are 
given of the minute observances connected with it, 
easily to be transgressed, which would necessarily make 
the Sabbath, instead of a day of rest, a day of sorrow 
and anxiety, almost worse than the Scotch Sunday, 
as depicted by continental writers." Even Haus- 
rath* — who is something more than a theologian, 
for he also wrote history — is unable to see in 
the Rabbinic Sabbath more than a day which is to 
be distinguished by a mere non-performance of the 
thirty-nine various sorts of work forbidden by the 
Rabbis on Sabbaths, such as sowing, ploughing, reap- 
ing, winnowing, kneading, spinning, weaving, skinning, 
tanning, writing, etc., etc., — a whole bundle of par- 
ticiples, in the expounding of which the Pharisee took 
an especial delight.* Contrast this view with the 
prayer of R. Zadok, a younger contemporary of the 
Apostles, which runs thus: "Through the love with 
which thou, O Lord our God, lovest thy people Israel, 
and the mercy which thou hast shown to the children 
of thy covenant, thou hast given unto us in love this 
great and holy seventh day." * This Rabbi, clearly, 
regarded the Sabbath as a gift from heaven, an ex- 
pression of the infinite love and mercy of God, which 
he manifested toward his beloved children. Thus the 
Sabbath is celebrated by the very people who observe 

^ S«e Schechter» Studies in Judaism, p. 297 seq, 

* History of the New Testament Times, I 101. 

* Tosephta Berachoth, 3 7. 



154 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

it, in hundreds of hymns, which would fill volumes, 
as a day of rest and joy, of pleasure and delight, 
a day in which man enjoys some presentiment of the 
pure bliss and happiness which are stored up for the 
righteous in the world to come, and to which such ten- 
der names were applied as the " Queen Sabbath," the 
" Bride Sabbath," and the " holy, dearly beloved Sab- 
bath. " Every founder of a religion declares the yoke 
which he is about to put on his followers to be easy, 
and the burden to be light ; but, after all, the evidence 
of those who did bear the Sabbath yoke for thousands 
of years ought to pass for something. The assertion 
of some writers that the Rabbis, the framers of these 
laws, as students leading a retired life, suffered in no 
way under them, and therefore were unable to realise 
their oppressive effect upon the great majority of the 
people, is hardly worth refuting. The Rabbis belonged 
to the majority, being mostly recruited, as already 
pointed out in another place, from the artisan, trading, 
and labouring classes.^ This very R. 2^ok, whom I 
have just mentioned, says: "Make not the Torah a 
crown wherewith to aggrandise thyself, nor a spade 
wherewith to dig;" whilst Hillel considers it as a mortal 
sin to derive any material profit from the words of the 
Torah.' 

The prayers of the synagogue are another case in 
point. That Jews could pray, that they had, besides 
the Temple, a synagogue service, independent of sacri- 

^ See above, p. I la ^AktA^^i. 






THE JOY OF THE LAW 155 

fices and priests, does not, as every student must have 
felt, fit in well with the view generally entertained of 
the deadly and deadening effects of the Law. The in- 
convenient Psalms of the later periods were easily 
neutralised by divesting them of all individualistic 
tendency, whilst the synagogue was placed under the 
superintendence of the Rabbis, " whose mechanical 
tendencies are well known." In their hands, we are 
told, prayers turn into rubrics, and it is with an especial 
delight that theologians dwell on the Rabbinical laws re- 
lating to prayer, as, for instance, how many times a day 
a man ought to pray, the fixed hours for prayer, in what 
parts of the prayer an interruption is allowed, which 
parts of the prayer require more devotion than others, 
and similar petty little questions of religious casuistry 
in which the Rabbi, as an expert, if I may call him 
so, greatly delighted. But these writers seem to over- 
look the fact that the very framers of these petty laws 
were the main composers of the liturgy. And who can 
say what the Rabbi's feelings were when he wrote, for 
instance, " Forgive us, our Father, for we have sinned" ? 
The word "Father" alone suggests a world of such 
ideas as love, veneration, devotion, and childlike 
dependence upon God. It is easy enough to copy 
rubrics. They float on the surface of the so-called 
"Sea of the Talmud," and it requires only a certain 
indelicacy of mind, or what Renan would have called 
"the vulgarity of criticism," to skim them off, and pass 
them on to the world as samples of Jewish synagogue 



IS6 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

life. If Life and Times writers would only dip a little 
deeper into this sea, they would notice how easily the 
Rabbis could disregard all these rubrics. The subject 
of prayer is too wide to be dealt with here even in a 
perfunctor}' manner, but a few passages at least may 
be cited which will illustrate the sentiment of the 
Rabbis with regard to this topic. Thus we read, 
with reference to Jer. 148: "God is the Mikweh of 
Israel, which word the Rabbis take to mean "the source 
of purity" (Israel's purification being established by 

1 _ _ 

J. attachment to God). " God says to Israel, I bade 
thee read thy prayers unto me in thy synagogues ; 
but if thou canst not, pray in thy house; and if thou 
art unable to do this, pray when thou art in thy field ; 
and if this be inconvenient to thee, pray on thy bed ; 
and if thou canst not do even this, think of me in thy 
heart." ^ Prayer is, indeed, as the Rabbis caU it, 
''the service of the heart " ; though man should praise 
the Holy One, blessed be he, with every limb in his 
body, even as Da\'id did who praised him with his head, 
with his eyes, with his mouth, with his ears, with his 
throat, with his tongue, with his lips, with his heart, 
with his reins, with his hands, with his feet, as it is 
said, " All my bones shall say. Lord who is like unto 
thee?" (Ps. 35 10); nay, with his soul and his breath.* 



1 p. A"., 157 ^ 158 a, referring to the meaning "well" or "di 
rather than " hope." 

3 Taanith, 2 a. Cf. Si/re, 80 a ; Af, 7*., 5 1, about the pcayeit of 
TTP (individual). See MechiUa of R. Simon^ P« IS'* CL alw above, 
p. 50, note 2. 



THE JOY OF THE LAW 157 

Prayer, and the recitation of the Shema, are among 
the things which keep the heart of Israel in exile 
awake/ and God requires of Israel that, at least in 
the time of prayer, they should give him all their 
hearts ; * that is to say, that the whole of man should 
be absorbed in his prayer. " Prayer without devotion is 
like a body without a soul," is a common Jewish 
proverb. Indeed, he who prays should direct his heart 
to heaven, nay, he must consider himself as if the 
very Divine Presence is facing him.' God himself li 
teaches Israel how to pray before him ; * for nothing is 
more beautiful than prayer; it is more beautiful even 
than good works, and of more value than sacrifices.* 
It is the expression of Israel's love to God ; God longs ' ' .,' 
for it.* Prayer is Israel's chiefest joy.^ When thou : \ 
risest to pray, let thy heart rejoice within thee, since 
thou servest a God, the like imto whom there is none 
(Ps. 100 3). Hence the benediction in which Israel 
thank God that they are permitted to pray to 
him.* 

And here I must again be allowed an allusion to per- 
sonal reminiscences. The following passages in the 

1 See Can/. Rabba^ 5:2. * Tan,^ K^ i, end. 

* See Berachoiht 31 a» and Sanhedrin, 22 a. 

* See Rosh Hashanahy ly b, Cf. above, 37. 

* See Si/re, 71 b, and Tan., KSTI i. 
•Seeil/. T., 1161. 

f See Yalkut to Ps. 100. Cf. Af. T to this chapter. 

* See /er, Berachoth, 3 d (the first lines on the top). Cf. Baer's 
remarks to the \ysm DHID, p. 100. 



IS8 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

Song of the Unity are recited in some congregadons on 

the Eve of the Day of Atonement : — 

We are thy people and thy sheep, who delight to obey 
thy will. 

But how shall we serve, since our hand hath no power, 
and our sanctuary is burnt with fire? 

How shall we serve without sacrifice and meat offer- 
ing ? for we are not yet come unto our rest, 

Neither is there water to wash away defilement ; lo I 
we are upon unpurified ground. 

But I rejoice at thy word, and I am come according 
to thy bidding. 

For it is written, I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices, 
or thy burnt -offerings. 

Concerning your sacrifices and your burnt-offerings I 
commanded not your fathers. 

Wliat have I asked, and what have I sought of thee but 
to fear me ? 

To ser\'e with joy and a good heart? 

Behold, to hearken is better than sacrifice, 

And a broken heart than pure offering. 

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. 

In sacrifice and meat-offering thou delightest not; sin- 
offering and burnt-offering thou hast not asked. 

I will build an altar of the broken fragments of my 
heart, and wdll break my spirit within me. 

The haughty heart I will humble ; yea, the hau^tiness 
of mine eyes, and I will rend my heart for the 
sake of the Lord. 



THE JOY OF THE LAW 



IS9 



My broken spirit, that is thy sacrifice. Let it be 
acceptable upon thine altar ! ^ 
But only one who has seen the deep despair reflected 
on the faces of the worshippers, as they repeat the first 
stanzas bewailing the loss of sacrifices as a means of 
atonement, and the sudden transition to the highest 
degree of joy and cheerfulness at the thought expressed ." 
in the last stanzas, that it is neither burnt -offering nor '\ 
meat-offering which God requires, but that the heart ij 
is the real altar and the service of the heart the real i 
sacrifice — only one who has witnessed such a prayer- j 
meeting will be able to conceive how little the capacity 
of the Rabbi to pray, and to rejoice in prayer, was 
affected by the rubrics, and how superficial is the com- 
mon conception of onlookers on this subject. 

In the preceding remarks we had a reference to a say- 
ing of R. Zadok, prohibiting the making of the Torah 
a means of aggrandising one's self, and another 
saying of Hillel to the same effect.' The saying 
in question doses with the words, "Lo, whosoever 
makes profit from the words of the Torah removes his 
life from the world." • This brings us to the subject 
of n8ttT7 (Lishmah), playing a very prominent part in 
Rabbinic literature. By Lishmah is understood the 
performance of the Law for its own sake, or rather 

1 Tirm TV, first day. Sec Service of the Synagogue, Dayis and 
Adler, London, 1906, vol. I, p. 41. 

* See above, p. 145. * Aboth, 4 7. 



l6o SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

for the sake of him who wrought (commanded) it, ex- 
cluding all worldly intentions. Thus, with regard to 
sacrifices, the words of Lev. i 9 (TH tvm m) are 
explained to mean that the sacrifice must be brought 
with no other intention but that of pleasing him who 
created the world.^ The service of God should be as 
single-minded as he is single in the world, to whom 
this service is directed.' " It is pleasing unto me that 
I commanded and my will was done." ■ With refer- 
ence to other laws, the injunction is, " Do the things 
(of the Torah) for the sake of him who wrought them, 
and speak in them for their own sake."^ Indeed, 
the Torah is only then pure when man cleanses him- 
self from all sin, and from every thought of profiting 
by it, so that he must not expect of mankind to serve 
him or maintain him, because he is a scholar.* 
Nay, it is only the occupation with the Torah for its 
own sake which is life, ''but if thou hast not per- 
formed the words of the Torah in this manner, they 
kill thee."* It is just this purity of motive which 
forms the main difference " between the righteous 
and the wicked, between him that serveth God and 

1 T.K^T c and 8 e, Cf. Zebackim^ 37^. See abo below, pp. 397 
and 298. 

^ T, K^ 43 d. See below, p. 258. * Sifrt^ 39 a and 54 «. 

* See Nedarim, 62 tf, reading CTITB. See, howerer, Sijrg^ 
84 b, D. E. Z. (ed. Tawrogi) has both reading!. Cf. Bacher, Ag, 
Tan,, I 6S. Duran in his commentary to nnM, 5 4, has the reading 
VttlO ^Xh Cn3 I^TI f^UB DVf?. 

^ Afechilta of R. Simon, 98. 

* Sxjre, 131 b ; Taanitk^ 7 ^ » cf . Bacher, Ag. Tmn^ 2 Mk 



THE JOY OF THE LAW i6i 

him that serveth him not " (Malachi 3 is).* The 
same thing applies also to other laws. Two men 
feasted upon their Passover lamb. The one ate it for 
the sake of the Misswah, the other devoured it in the 
manner of a glutton. To the former they apply the 
Scriptural words, " The righteous shall walk in them ; " 
to the latter, "The transgressor shall fall therein" 
(Hosea 1410).* This is of course the highest ideal 
of the religionist, though not everybody could attain 
to this high degree, and some concessions were made 
in this respect. Hence such statements as '' Let 
a man be occupied in the study of the Torah and 
the fulfilling of commandments even in the case 
when they are not performed for their own sake;" 
but the statement doses with the words, "for 
this occupation will lead in the end to the desired 
ideal of the purer intention." This is in harmony 
with the sentiment expressed by another Rabbi, who 
was wont to pray, " May it be thy will that you 
bring peace . . . among those students who are oc- 
cupied in the study of the Torah, both who do it for 
its own sake, and those who do not do it for its own 
sake. And that these latter may come to ultimately 
occupy themselves with it for its own sake." • In any 
case, this selfish occupation was considered as a Torah 
wanting in grace.^ 

1 Sec Af. T., 31 ». 

* Set JVasir, 33 a. See also Albo, lAAarim, 3 6 and as. 
^SttBerathcth^lT a, ^ (^TDH). See 5f«iUa^, 49 ^. 



x62 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

And let it be noticed that the notion of Lishmak 
excluded even the intention of fulfilling a law with the 
hope of getting such rewards as are promised by the 
Scriptures. Though the Rabbis never tired of urging 
the belief in reward and punishment, and strove to 
make of it a living conviction, they yet displayed a 
constant tendency to disregard it as a motive for action. 
The sa>'ing of Antigonos of Socho, '' Be not like servants 
that serve their master with the view to receive re- 
ward," is well known.^ All the commentators on the 
sayings of the Fathers explain this sentence as mean- 
ing that love pure and simple is the only worthy 
motive of the worshipper. But we must not look 
upon this sanng of Antigonos as on one of those 
theological paradoxes in which divines of all creeds 
occasionally indulge. It is a sentiment running 
through the Rabbinic literature of almost every age. 
Thus the words in Deut. ii is, "To love the Lord 
your God," are explained to mean: "Say not, I will 
study the Torah with the purpose of being called 
sage or Rabbi, or to acquire fortune, or to be rewarded 
for it in the world to come ; but do it for the sake of thy 
love to God, though the glory will come in the end/' ' 
The words in Ps. 112 1, "Blessed is the man who 
delighteth greatly in his commandments," are inter- 
preted to mean, that he is blessed who deli^teth 
in God's commandments, but not in the reward 
promised for his commandments.* This proves, by 

1^30^,1:3. ^Sifre,%^a. Cr. abofve, p. 68. 

' Ahodak Zarak^ 194. 






THE JOY OP THE LAW 163 

the way, that the Rabbis could depart from the letter 
of the Scripture for the sake of the spirit, the succeeding 
verses in this very Psalm being nothing else than a 
description of the reward awaiting the pious man who 
fulfils God's commandments. In another place, those 
who, in view of Prov. 3 I6, look out for the good things 
which are on the left side of wisdom, namely, riches and 
honours, are branded as wicked and base.^ And when " 
David said, "I hate them that are of a double mind, 
but thy law do I love," he indicated by it, according to 
the Rabbis, his contempt for mixed motives in the ser- ^ 
vice of God, as the Law should not be fulfilled either 
under compulsion or through fear, but only from the < 
motive of love. Indeed, God bears evidence to the » 
unselfishness of Israel and their full confidence in him, 
saying, " I gave them affirmative conmiands and they 
received them; I gave them negative commands and 
they received them, and though I did not explain their 
reward, they said nothing" (making no objection).* In 
the devotional literature of the Middle Ages there is 
hardly a single work in which man is not warned 
against serving God with any intention of receiving 
reward, though, of course, the religionist is strongly 
urged to believe that God does reward goodness and \ 
does punish wickedness.' 

1 See Num, R^ 22 •. ^ M, 71, 119 46, and iHd,^ 1 19 1. 

• See trron nfiO, Parma, p. 254. Cf. also Azulai, fllOnp ^10, 
•.T., TXOth, See also above, pp. 67 seq, and 68 seq. Cf. also Schechter, 
Siudus in Judaism f 2d series, the essay on Saints and Sainliiness, 



l64 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

Nor docs salvation exactly depend on the number 
of the commandments man accomplishes. It is true 
that every law gives Israel an opportunity of ac- 
quiring merit (Zachuth), and inheriting thereby the 
world to come ; for which reason the Holy One, blessed 
be he, multiplied to them Torah and commandments.' 
' But this multiplication only aims at an increase 
of opportunities enabling man to accomplish at least 
one law in a perfect manner, which alone possesses 
the \irtue of sa\ing. ''Even he who has done 
one of those things (enumerated in the 15th Ps.) is 
valued as much as if he had done all those things 
and shall never be moved,' and only he shall not escape 
the mouth of Sheol who has not accomplished a single 
law." ' But the accomplishment of this single law must 
be, as already indicated, in the most perfect way. JAs 
R. Saadya Gaon states on Talmudic authority, 
the worshipper {Ohed) is to be considered the man 
who at least set one law apart for himself which he 
should never transgress, or fall short of in any way^ 

^ See Afakkoth^ 23 b, Mishnah. CX Tan. B^4Wta, and ^^mm. X^ 
172, and Friedmann, B*nCD3, p. 23. 

3 See Makkoth, 24 a\ M. T^ 16 7. CX alto Samketkin^ 81 «. It 
shoald be remarked that the paraphrase of the Rabbis of this Pk and 
of £z., 18 e seq.^ implies even a higher standard than suggested hf the 
literal sense of the Biblical text 

* See the sUtement of R. Jochanan in Hiakk^A^ Hid, CL Rab- 
binowicz in Variae I^ctionei^ a. /. 

« n*irr n^trDK, 5:8. His authority is //r. Kiddmskim, 6i dC As an 
instance of such a law, the commandment of honouring Hither and 
mother is given there. 



THE JOY OF THE LAW 165 

In conformity with this is the view of Maimonides, who 
declares that it is an essential belief of the Torah that 
if a man fulfils even (only) one of the six hundred and 
thirteen laws in a perfect manner, so that it is not 
accompanied by any worldly consideration but done 
for the sake of the love of God, he becomes thereby 
worthy of the life of the world to come.* Maimonides 
illustrates his point by the story of a Rabbi (of the 
Tannaitic age), who was about to die the death of a 
mart)n:, but shortly before he suffered, he discussed 
with his friend his prospects of sharing in the life of 
the world to come. The answer he received was to 
the effect that if ever there came " an action into his 
hands," he may hope for it ; that is, if he ever met with 
a case requiring a special effort to carry the law into 
effect. The Rabbi then remembered that in his ca- 
pacity as treasurer of the charities in his dty such a case 
did occur, and that he performed his duty to the full. 
It is thus neither the martyrdom which he was to un- 
dergo nor the routine life in accordance with the law 
which may readily be expected of any Rabbi, but the 
accomplishment of one commandment in a perfect 
way that secures salvation.' Somewhat similar is the 

1 See Maimonides, Commentary to Mishnah Makkoth, 3 16. It is 
not impossible that both R. Saad]ra and Maimonides were also thinking 
of MechiUa 33 b^ where we read in the name of R. Nehemiah, « He 
who receives apon himself (even) a single law, in faith, is worthy that 
the Holy Spirit should rest upon him." 

* See Maimonides, ibid. See also Abodah Zarah, 18 a. QL Albo^ 
Ikkarim^ 5 is. 



1 66 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

following story: A certain Rabbi who held communion 
with Elijah asked the prophet one day when standing 
in the market whether he could discover among the 
crowd there any person destined for the life of the 
world to come. "No," answered the prophet 
Subsequently Elijah perceived a certsdn person, then 
he said to the Rabbi, " This is the man of the world 
to come." Upon inquiry by the Rabbi, it was found 
that he was a jailer, and that he possessed the merit 
of watching over the chastity of the daughters of Israd, 
whom misfortune brought under his authority. A little 
later, the prophet again pointed out two more individ- 
uals as men of theVorld to come. When the Rabbi 
asked after their profesaon they answered, "We are 
cheerful persons and cheer up the depressed ones. 
Again, when we see two persons quarrelling, we en- 
deavour to make peace between them." * 

It must further be noted that even mere negative 
virtues are not without a certain saving power. "He 
who refrains from committing a sin, they reward him 
as if he accomplished a commandment." ' It should 
however be stated that this view is greatly modified by 
some other opinions that only admit the merit of this 
negative disposition when the temptation to sin was very 
great, or when the man out of conscientious scruples 
abstained from an action, the sinful feature of which 

1 See Taanitk, 22 a and Jer, TaaniA, 64 k, Cf. abo Albo, iHd. 
s See Afishnah Makkotk, 3 u. Cf. Si/re^ 125 a, Kiddmkin^ J9 J^ 
ajkdi/er. Kidduihin^ 61 d^ 



THE JOY OP THE LAW 167 

was not fully established.^ It is further modified 
by the following statement: "A man might think," 
the Rabbis teach, "considering that he avoids every 
opportunity of sin and is on his guard against evil 
(with his tongue) and falsehood, he can now indulge 
in sleep (idleness), neither committing sin nor doing 
good ; therefore it is said ' Depart from evil and do I - 
good,'" (Ps. 34 14). And by "good" is meant the j i' 
occupation with the Torah.' • ! • 

The real motive of this enthusiasm for the Law must 
be sought in other sources than the hope of reward. 
Those who keep the commandments of God are his 
lovers. And when the lover is asked. Why art thou 
carried away to be burned, stoned, or crucified ? he an- 
swers. Because I have studied the Torah, or, Because I 
have circumcised my son, or. Because I have kept the 
Sabbath ; but he considers the suffering as wounds in- 
flicted upon him for the sake of his beloved one, and 
his love is returned by the love of God.* The Law is 
thus a means of strengthening the mutual relations of 
love between God and his people.* The fulfilment of : *' 
the Law was, in the eyes of the Rabbis, a witnessing 
on the part of the Jews to God's relationship to the 
world. "Why does this man," they say, "refrain from 
workon the Sabbath? why does he close his business 
on the seventh day? He does so in order to bear 

^ See Kiddushin^ 31 ^ and/^. Kiddmkin, 61 eL Cf. also M, 7*., I 7. 
' See Alwdah Zarah, 1% b and 19 0, and M, 71, i 0. 
• MtckUta, (Ab. « See MtchUta, 98 a. 



' I 



1 68 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

witness to the fax:t of God's creation of the world, 
and to his providence over it." * The Law, accord- 
ing to the Rabbis, was a source of holiness. Each 
new commandment with which God blesses Israel 
adds holiness to his people; but it is holiness which 
makes Israel to be God's own.* They deduce this 
doctrine from Exod. 2o3t>, which verse they explain 
to mean that it is the fact of Israel being holy men 
tnp ^3K which gives them the privilege of belong- 
ing to God. Hence the formula in many benedictions: 
" Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, . . . who hast 
sanctified us by thy commandments, and found delight 
in us." ' Another version of the same sort is, " Be- 
loved are the commandments by which the Holy One, 
blessed be he, exalted the seed of his friend Abraham 
and gave them unto Israel with the purpose of beauti- 
fying and glorifying them; whilst Israel, his holy 
people, and his inheritance, glorify his name for the 
commandments and statutes he gave them. And it is 
because of these commandments that Israel are called 
holy.* These reasons, namely, the motive of love, the 
privilege of bearing witness to God's relationship to the 
world, the attainment of holiness in which the Law 
educated Israel, as well as the other spiritual motives 
which I have already pointed out, such as the joy felt 

^ See Mechilta^ 104 0. ^ Ihid.^ 98 tf. * Baer, p. 198. 

« See "".C'Cn ncc, ed. Mantua, 126 b. The diction of the pungs 
shoH's that it has been taken from lome ancient Midrash. See abo 
above, p. 147. and below, p. 209. 



THE JOY OF THE LAW 



169 



by the Rabbis in the performance of the Law and the 
harmony which the Rabbis perceived in the life lived 
according to the Torah, were the true sources of Israel's 
enthusiasm for the Law. At least they were powerful 
enough with the more refined and nobler minds in Israel 
to enable them to dispense utterly with the motives of 
reward and punishment; though, as in every other 
religion, these lower motives may have served as con- 
current incentives to a majority of believers. 



XII 

THE ZACHUTH OF THE FATHERS 
Imputed Righteousness and Imputed Sin 

The last chapter having treated of the righteousness 
achieved through the means of the Law and the sin 
involved by breaking it, it will be convenient to 
deal here with the doctrine of the FfOH^ ITOT (the 
Merits of the Fathers), the merits of whose righteous- 
ness are charged to the account of Israel. This doc- 
trine plays an important part in Jewish theology, and 
has its counterpart in the belief that under certain 
conditions one person has also to suffer for the ans of 
another person. We have thus in Judaism both the 
notion of imputed righteousness and imputed sin. 
They have, however, never attained such significance 
either in Jewish theology or in Jewish conscience as it 
is generally assumed. By a happy inconsistency, in 
the theory of salvation, so characteristic of Rabbinic 
theolog)', the importance of these doctrines is reduced 
to very small proportions, so that their effect was in 
the end beneficial and formed a healthy stimulus to 
conscience. 

The term fllS! (Zachuth) is not to be found in the 

170 



THE ZACHUTH OF THE FATHERS 171 

Bible, though the verb occurs in the sense of being pure 
or of being cleansed/ In the Rabbinic literature, the 
verb n3t is sometimes used as a legal term meaning to 
be acquitted, to be in the right, to have a valid claim; 
whilst the noim Zachuth means acquittal.* Occa- 
sionally it also means to be worthy of a thing, or to be 
privileged/ In the pVel it means to argue, to plead for 
acquittal/ Further, in a theological sense, to lead 
to righteousness,* to cause one or to give one the 
opportimity to acquire a merit, while the noun Zachuth 
is used in the sense of merit, virtue, which under 
certain conditions have a protective or an atoning 
influence/ 

For the sake of obtaining a clearer view of the 
subject, which is rather complicated, we shall treat it 
xmder the following headings: (i) The Zachuth of 
a Pious Ancestry; (2) The Zachuth of a Pious Con- 
temporary; (3) The Zachuth of the Pious Posterity. 

(i) The Zachuth of the pious ancestry may generally 
be described as the fllDK nst (the Zachuth of the 
Fathers), but the term Fathers is largely limited in Rab- 
binic literature to the three patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, 
and Jacob, God's covenant with whom is so often ap- 

^ See Micah 6 11; Ps. 119 0; Job 25 4. 

* See Baba Meziahy 107 b\ Mishnahj ibid., i 4; Mishnah Sanhedrin^ 
4 1. See Jastrow's Dictionary, s.v. See also Bacher, Terminologies 

I CO. 

* See Soia, ija; Chagigah, 5 b, 

^ See, for instance, Mishnah Sanhedrin^ 3 6. 

* See Aboth^ 5 is. « See Jer, Kiddmhin, 61 d, and P, R., 38 b. 



172 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

pealed to already in the Bible. The Rabbinic rule is, 
"They call not Fathers but the three (patriarchs), and 
ihey call not Mothers but four" (Sarah, Rebeccah, 
Rachel, and Leah).* The last statement with regard to 
the Mothers suggests also that there is such a thing as 
the miCK tra\ (the Zachuth of the Mothers). This is 
in conformity with the Rabbinic statement in reference 
to Lev. 26 42 regarding God's remembering his covenant 
with the patriarchs, that there is also such a thing as 
the covenant with the Mothers.* In another place 
they speak even distinctly of the Zachuth of the 
Mothers, "If thou seest the Zachuth of the Fathers 
and the Zachuth of the Mothers, that they are on the 
decline, then hope for the grace of God." • And it 
would even seem that they would invoke the Zachuth 
of the Mothers together with the Zachuth of the Fathers 
in their prayers on public fasts prescribed on the occa- 
sion of general distress.* In connection with the same 
verse (Lev. 26 42), the Rabbis speak also of the cove- 
nant with the Tribes ("the servants of the Lord"), 
to whom God has also sworn as he did to the patriarchs, 

^ Berachoth, 1 6 b. See, however, D, E, Z., ch. I, where they ^>eak of 
teren Fathers who entered into a corenant with God. In Siradk 
(heading to c. 44), the expression Fathers is even more extensiTe. 

2 T, K^ 112 c, 

* See /er. Sanhedrin^ 27 d, and Liv, ^., 36 «. CL commentariei^ 
and see also Cant. ^., 2 9. 

* See Pseudo- Jonathan to Exod. 18 • and Mechilia, 54 a. In our 
liturgy, the invocation to the Zachuth of the Motheis is Terj rare. A 
fHyut (hjnmn) by R. Gershom b. Judah, recited on the ere of the 
New Year, has a reference to the covenant of the Mothen. 



THE ZACHUTH OF THE FATHERS 173 

and whose Zachuth Moses is also supposed to have 
invoked, as he did that of the Fathers.^ 

It is, however, the Zachuth of the Fathers which 
figures most prominently in Rabbinic literature. The 
thought of the creation of the Fathers preceded the 
creation of the world.' They are the rocks and the 
hills,' but also the foundations of the world, for it is 
on their Zachuth that the world is based.* Abraham 
is the very petra on which the Holy One, blessed be 
he, established the world,' as it is said, "For the 
foundations of the earth are the Lord's" (i Sam. 2 8), 
whilst the Zachuth of the Fathers is also occasionally 
called "rock."* 

It is true that the Fathers are not considered abso- 
lutely perfect. They could not, according to some 
authorities, stand the rebuke (or judgement) of God.^ 
And though their position is so exalted that their 
abode would have been translated into the regions 
above had they wished it, nevertheless, they did not 
receive the epithet "Holy" until they died.' Yet, in 
general, they are considered as the greatest and 

^ T. X.t ii2r; Exod, ^., 44 » and 10. Cf. Isa. 63 it. See also 
P. R^ 191 a, 

« P. R. E,, 3. Cf. Gen. R^ i 4. 

> See Meckiliat 54 a, and Sifre, 140 a, Cf. also Exod. R^ 28 1. 

^ Exad. R., 15 6. 

* See Yalkui to Peni.t { 766, reproduced from the Yelamdenu, Cf. 
above, p. 59. 

* See Yalkui to Pent, { 763, reproduced from the Yelamdenu, 
^ See ArachiHt 16 a. * Af. T., 16 a. See also commentary. 



174 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

the most weighty among Israel/ except the King 
Messiah, according to certain Rabbis also except 
Moses.' It is because of the Zachuth of the Fathers, 
or the Covenant with the Fathers, that Israel was 
redeemed from Egypt.' That Moses was permitted 
to ascend Mount Sinai and to mingle there with the 
celestials and receive the Torah, was also for the sake 
of the Zachuth of the Fathers.* When Israel sinned 
in the desert (by the worshipping of the golden calf), 
Moses uttered ever so many prayers and supplications 
and he was not answered. Indeed, his pleading for 
Israel lasted not less than forty days and forty nights, 
but all in vain. Yet when he said, " Remember Abra- 
ham, Isaac, and Jacob thy servants" (Exod. 32 13), 
his prayer was heard at once.* One Rabbi gets so 
exalted at the thought of the Zachuth of the Fathers 
that he exclaims to the efiFect: Blessed are the children 
whose fathers have a Zachuth^ because they profit by 
their Zachuth ; blessed are Israel who can rdy upon 
the Zachuth of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, it is 
their Zachuth which saved them. It saved them on 
the occasion of the exodus from Egypt, when they 
worshipped the golden calf, and in the times of Elijah, 

* See Sifret 94 a, 

^ See 7 an. B,^ I 70, text and commentary, and Sifrti 27 b, 

* See Exod, A*., i ». See also Mechilta^ 48 a, ^ere the ftnfT«*V 
are described as sinless. The opinions seem to have been diTided. 
Cf. Krn:Kn ***.£C, ed. Buber, 25 a. See also Nachmanides' commeiitary 
to Elxod. 12 10. 

« Gen. R^ 28 1 and 2. * Skabbotk^ 42 a. CX Ex9d. ^., 44 1. 



THE ZACHUTH OF THE FATHERS 175 

and so in every generation.* Indeed, Israel is com- 
pared to a vine, because as the vine is itself alive, but 
is supported by dead wood, so Israel is living and last- 
ing, but is leaning upon the deceased Fathers.' It is by 
reason of this support, that the righteous deeds of the 
Fathers are remembered before God. "Who was so 
active before thee (God) as Abraham, the lover of God ? 
Who was so active before thee as Isaac, who allowed 
himself to be boimd upon the altar? Who was so 
active before thee as Jacob, who was so thankful to 
God?"' Therefore, whenever Israel comes into dis- 
tress they call into remembrance the deeds of the 
Fathers.* 

Besides the Zachuih of the Fathers, Kar i^oxv^ 
limited to the patriarchs, there is also apparently the 
Zachuih of every man's ancestry. The father, we 
are taught, transfers (Halt) to his son the benefits of 
beauty, strength, wealth and wisdom and (old) age.* 

^ Af. Ber,, ch. la * Exod, J?., 44 1. Cf. Lev. J!,, 36 s. 

* See Cant, J?., i 4. The special activities here are supplied from 
Si/re, p. 73 3. 

* Aggadatk Shir Hashirim^ p. 14. With regard to the sacrifice of 
Isaac, playing such an important part in the liturgy, see Midrashim to 
Gen., ch. 22; P. A^, 154 a and 3, text and notes, and P. ^.,171 b, and 
reference given there. Cf. also MHG,^ 314 ieq,^ and Beer, Leben 
AbraAams, pp. 57 seg,, 175 sef. 

* Mishnah Eduyothy 2 0. Cf. Tosephta, ibid,, p. 456, and Tosephia 
Sanhedrin^ 4 ts, and Jer, Kiddushin, 61 a. See also 63 r, and refer- 
ences, and Tan, B,, i t^ b. Cf. also Kinyan Torah ; A, R. A^., 
55 b^ note II, and 60 ^, note 24, and Friedmann, DT1&03, pp. 19 and 20^ 
text and notes. 



176 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THBOWGY 

Though these benefits are all personal and merely 
hereditary, it would seem that they were not quite 
dissociated in the mind of the Rabbis from the notion 
connected generally with Zachuth and its theological 
possibilities. This is the impression, at least, we 
receive from the remark of one of the ancient Rabbisy 
who declares that these benefits cease with the moment 
man has attained his majority, when he becomes 
responsible for his conduct, and that it depends upon 
bis own actions whether these benefits should continue 
or not/ In the well-known controversy between the 
patriarch Rabban Gamaliel the Second and his oppo- 
nents, the general opinion was that preference should 
be given to R. Eliezer b. Azariah, above other nomi- 
nees, because he was a man who enjoyed the Zachuth 
of his fathers, having been a descendant of Ezra.' 
''The son of fathers" (that is, a man of noble descent) 
was generally resi)ected, though some would place 
him below the scholar or "the son of the Torah."' 
Indeed, he who had Zachuth of his fathers was 
thought that he could with less risk expose himself 
to danger than any other man.^ They were also 
considered fit to act as the representatives of com- 
munities. "Let all men," said a Rabbi, "who are 

^ See Tosephta Eduyoth^ ibid., and comptre Maimonides^ commen- 
tary to the A/ishnahf ibid. From the references given in A, R, N^ ibid^ 
and Friedmann, D*n&D3, ibid., it is also evident that the transferring of 
beneBts are a special privilege of the righteous. Ct also the Rttfnum 
of the Geonim, ed. Harkavy, p. 176. 

* Berachoth, 27 a. > See Menachotk^ 53 a. ^ See SkabbmHk^ 199 k. 



THE ZACHUTH OF THE FATHERS 177 

labouring with a Congregation (that is, leaders of 
communities occupied in social duties), act with them 
in the name of heaven, for the Zachuth of the fathers 
sustains them." And the larger the number of these 
righteous fathers, the more effective is the Zachuth by 
which their children profit.^ 

All these statements, however, with their exaggerating 
importance of the Zachuth of a righteous ancestry, 
are greatly qualified by another series of Rabbinic 
statements, reducing the Zachuth to small proportions. 
With regard to the Zachuth of the Fathers (or patri- 
archs), we have the astonishing assertion by the Rabbis 
that this Zachuth was discontinued long ago. The 
passage in question begins with the words, " When did 
the Zachuth of the Fathers cease?" In a parallel 
passage, it runs, "How long did the Zachuth of the 
Fathers last?" Various dates are fixed by various 
Rabbis, but none of them is later than the age of 
the King Hezekiah. The Scriptural proofs adduced 
by these Rabbis are not very cogent. The way, how- 
ever, in which the question is put impresses one 
with the conviction that this cessation of the Zachuth 
of the Fathers was a generally accepted fact and that the 
only point in doubt was the exact date when this cessa- 
tion took place.* But when this date was reached, 
the Holy One, blessed be he, exclaimed, "Until now 
you possessed the Zachuth of the Fathers, but for the 

^ AhcA, 2 u. See also Jtf. T., 59 1. 

* See Shabbath, 55 a ; /er, Sanhedrin^ 27 </; and Lev, R^ 39 6. 

N 



178 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

future, every one will dei)end on his own actions. I 
shall not deal with you as I dealt with Noah (who, 
according to certain Rabbis, protected with his Zachuth 
his unworthy sons). Fathers will no longer save their 
children." * Of course, Israel need not desi>air, for 
when every Zachuth of the ancestral piety disappears, 
Israel can always fall back on the grace of God, never 
to be removed.' Thus on the day when the Holy One, 
blessed be he, will judge Israel, the latter will look at 
the Fathers that they should plead for them, but there 
is no father who can save his son, and no man can 
save his brother in this distress. Then they will lift 
up their eyes to their Father in Heaven. In another 
place, the same thought is expressed to the following 
eflfect : Those generations (who passed through dis- 
tress) will say unto him, " Master of the World, those 
of yore had the Fathers, whose Zachuth stood by them, 
but we are orphans, having no father, but thou hast 
written, * For in thee the fatherless findeth mercy ' " 
(Rosea 14 4).' There is however one Rabbi who ob- 
jects to all the dates given, maintaining that the Zachuth 

^ //f. Ber,f ch. I a The authority of 4f. Ber, leems to be an old 
Baraiiha. Cf. Midrash Tannaim, p. 62, { 9, where it eren leemi 
that the Zachuth of Noah continued much longer than the ZadkiUk of 
the Fathers, Israel only living on the Zackuih of the commandmenlB. 
See also Tan. KX% § 13, with reference to Gen. 31 4i, where the remark is 
made that the Zachuth of (honest) handicraft is greater than the 
Zachuth of the Fathers. Cf. Berackoth^ 8 a, 

'^ Lrv. R.y ibid. See above, p. 1 72, note 3, with regard to the ZaeMuA 
of the Mothers. 

• See Af. T,, 121 1; Ag. Ber^ ch. 83. 



THE ZACHUTH OP THE FATHERS 179 

of the Fathers lasts forever, and that Israel can always 
appeal to it, as it is said, "For the Lord, thy God, 
is a merciful God; he will not forsake thee, neither 
destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers 
which he sware unto them" (Deut. 4 3i).* This, 
however, is more of an appeal to the covenant with the 
Fathers than to the Zachuth, the covenant being un- 
conditional and everlasting, independent of Israel's 
actions.' "And the truth of God endureth forever" 
(Ps. 117 2), is the covenant which God has established 
with the Fathers.' This is in accordance with the 
remark of one of the mediaeval commentators of the 
Talmud, who says, "Though the Zachuth of the 
Fathers has ceased, the covenant of the Fathers never 
ended." He points to the liturgy where we bring into 
remembrance the covenant, twt the Zachuth, of the 
Fathers.* Another commentator, again, explains that 
it is only the very wicked who may not rely any longer 

lyjfT. Sanhedrifit 2yd. Cf. Lev, J?., 39 6. 

' Remarkable is the expression in the Mechilta of R, SimoH, p. 94, 

Ka man msK mn. 
* M. r., 117 a. 

^ See Tosafoth Shabbaih, 55 a. The appeal to the Zachuth of the 
Fathers is hardly represented in the original prayers, except if we take 
as such the words, " who rememberest the pious deeds of the patri- 
archs,** in the first benediction of the Eighteen Benedictions. These 
words, however, are omitted in the most ancient versions of the 
Eighteen Benedictions. To the covenant with the Fathers, however, 
we have a very emphatic appeal in the Afusaf (Additional) Prayer of 
the New Year. It is in the later liturgy where the Zachuth of the 
Fathers plays such an important part. See Zunz, SynagogaU Poesitt 
p. 455. Cf. Rev. S. Levy's Original Virtue, p. 7. 



i8o SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

on the Zachuth of the Fathers, whilst the righteous 
still profit by it. He further suggests that together 
with prayer the Zachuth of the Fathers may prove 
efTicacious even now. This opinion receives some 
support from a statement of an ancient Rabbi, who 
declares that the Zachuth of the Fathers, which was so 
potent a factor on the occasion of the exodus from 
Egypt, would have been of little use but for the fact 
that Israel did repentance in time, since there was 
against their account also the consideration that they 
were soon to commit the sin of the golden calf/ 
Generally, it may be stated that the Zachuth of the 
Fathers still retained its hold on Jewish consciousness, 
at least in its aspect of the covenant, if not directly, 
as a fountain of grace on which the nation can rely 
at all times. In fact, the two aspects are sometimes 
closely combined. Thus we are told that God removes 
the sin of Israel on account of the Zachuth of the 
conditions (or covenant) which he made with Abraham, 
their father (between the Keces).* Agdn, "When 
Moses the Prophet began to say those words (the Curses 
of Deut. 28 15-68) ... the Fathers of the Worid 

^ See the commentaries to Lev. J?., 36 6, and Ex^d, J?., I «. Ct 
Beer, Z>^^« Abrahams, p. 202 seq. 

> See Cant. A\ i u. Cf. Gen. 15 10. Gf. also Detit, P., 2 m, where 
the verse to prove the effect of the ZacktOk of the Fathers npon the 
redemption is Deut. 4 »i, ** For the Lord . . . will not . . . forget the 
covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them." See also Demi, 
R.t 6 4, where they speak of the Zachuth of the Fatheis, the corenaat 
and the oaths, which are afterwards reduced to the Zsektuk of the 
Fathers alone. 



THE ZACHUTH OF THE FATHERS i8l 

(the patriarchs) lifted their voices from their graves 
. . . and said, *Woe to our children when they are 
guilty, and all these curses come upon them. How 
will they bear them? Will he make an end of 
them, as our Zachuth will not protect them, and there 
will be no man who will pray for them?' Then there 
came a daughter voice from the high heavens, and thus 
she said, ' Fear not, ye Fathers of the World. Even 
if the Zachuth of the generations should cease, your 
Zachuth will never end, nor will the covenant I made 
with you be dissolved and (these) will protect them.'" * 
It was different with the Zachuth of the fathers, or 
ancestral piety in general, where no such covenant 
exists. Various passages have also been reproduced 
in proof of the Rabbinic belief in this Zachuth? It is 
hardly necessary to remind one of the Biblical au- 
thority for this belief, the very Decalogue containing 
the words, " For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, 
visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children imto 
the third and fourth generations of them that hate me; 
and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love 
me, and keep my commandments" (Exod. 20. 5 and 6). 
Some Rabbis, urging the plural "unto thousands," 
(meaning at least two thousand), infer from this that 
the period of grace is to last five hundred times as 
long as that of pimishment,' the visiting of iniquity 
extending only to the third and fourth generations. 

^ Pitudo-JontUhany Deat 28 is. * See above, p. 175 seq, 

> See Toiefia Sotah, 298; Sotah, ii a, Cf. Voma, 76 a. 



i82 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

Other Rabbis explain these words to stand for 
generations of indefinite number and without end,* 
or, as it is expressed in another place, by the accom- 
plishment of a religious act man acquires merit for 
himself and for his posterity, "until the end of all 
generations." ' But this Zachuth experiences many 
limitations. Thus, with reference to Deut. 7 9, in 
which the extension of this Zachuth is confined to a 
thousand generations, and which the Rabbis took as 
contradicting the verse just quoted from Exodus 
(extending it to two thousand generations), the ex- 
planation is given that this former verse refers to cases 
in which those who transfer the merit serve God only 
through motives of fear; hence, their merit is not so 
enduring and is subject to limitations in time.' The 
Zachuth, thus to have a more lasting efiFect, has to be ac- 
quired by the highest degree of perfection in the service 
of God, which is that accomplished through the motive 
of love. But even of more importance are the limita- 
tions made on the part of those who are to profit by 
these merits. We are referring to the emphatic state- 
ment of Hillel, who said, "If I am not for myself, 
who is for me, and being for myself, what am I?" which 
is explained to mean, "I must work out my own sal- 

1 Afechilta, 68 b. Cf. also ^10 np*? to Dent 7 9. 

3 T. A'., 27 a. Cf. also Yoma, 87 tf, where it if stmted that both 
Zachuth and guilt have their effect until the end of all generationt. 

^ See Sotah, 3 1 a. See Rashi's commentary as to the meaning of fear 
and love. 



THE ZACHUTH OP THE FATHERS 183 

vation, yet how weak are my unaided eflForts !" * This 
interpretation is supported by a paraphrase given of 
it in an older source, "If I have not acquired merit for 
myself, who wUI acquire merit for me, making me 
worthy of the life of the world to come? I have no 
father, I have no mother, I have no brother" (upon 
whose merits I can rely).* A similar opinion of the Rab- 
bis is expressed with reference to Deut. 32 39, " Fathers 
save not their children: Abraham saved not Ishmael, 
Jacob saved not Esau ; brothers save not brothers, . . . 
Isaac saved not Ishmael, Jacob saved not Esau. All 
the money in the world established no ransom, as it is 
said, 'Surely a brother redeemeth not a man, nor 
giveth to God a ransom for him" (Ps. 49 s).' Again, 
"Let not a man say, my father was a pious man, 
I shall be saved for his sake. Abraham could not 
save Ishmael, nor could Jacob save Esau." * Indeed, 
it would seem as if this were a generally accepted 
axiom, expressed in the words, "A father cannot save 
the son." * In the face of such statements, some of 
which became almost proverbial, there can be no 
doubt that the Zachuth of the fathers in no way served 
to silence the conscience of the individual, relieving him 
from responsibility for his actions. What this Zachuth 

^ Abotk, I 16. Cf. Taylor on this saying. See also A, R. N., 27 b^ 
note 58. 

* A. R. iV., 27 3. 

* See Sifrtj 139 6. Cf. Targum to Ps. 49 8 and 10, authorised version. 
See also A. R, N^ iHd,^ and Sanhedrint 104 a. 

^ M, 7"., 46 s. * Sanhedrin^ ibid. 



i84 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

sensed mostly to establish was the consdousness of 
the historic continuity, and to increase the reverence 
for the past which has thus become both foundation 
and inspiration. But this very idea brought Israel 
new duties. " Wc are thy people," runs an old prayer, 
'' the children of thy covenant, the children of Abraham, 
thy friend ... the seed of Isaac . . • the congregation 
of Jacob, thy first-bom son. . . . Therefore it is 
our duty to thank, praise, and glorify thee, to bless, to 
sanctify, and to ofTcr praise and thanksgiving imto 
thy name." * And it is in the end the grace of God 
himself to which the congregation of Israel appeals. 
The congregation of Israel says to the holy one, 
blessed be he : We have no salvation but in thee, we 
hope only in thee.' Again, when Israel comes into 
distress, they say unto the Holy One, blessed be he: 
Redeem us! but God says unto them: Are there 
among you righteous and God-fearing men (by whose 
Zachuth they could profit)? They answer: In the 
former times of our ancestors, the days of Moses, 
Joshua, David, Samuel, and Solomon, we had (such 
righteous men), but now, the longer the exile lasts, 
the darker it becomes. Then God says, "Trust in my 
Name, and my Name will save you." • Again, the 
congregation of Israel said before the Holy One, 
blessed be he, '*It is not for the sake of our righteous- 
ness and the good deeds we possess, that thou wilt 

1 See Singer, p. 8; Baer, p. 45. > See ilf . 7% 88 1. 

' See Af. T^ 31 1 and references. 



THE ZACBUTH OF THE FATHERS 185 

save us, but whether to-day or to-morrow, deliver us 
for the sake of thy righteousness." ^ And indeed, it 
was for his Name's sake that he redeemed them from 
Egypt; that he brought them to the Holy Land was 
also for his Name's sake, not for the sake of Abraham, 
Isaac, and Jacob; and so will the future redemption 
from Edom be effected for his Name's sake.' 

Corresponding to the ancestral piety is the ances- 
tral sin, which is charged, as indicated above, to the 
account of posterity that it may be made to sufiFer 
for it. As in the case of imputed righteousness, so 
they had also for the belief in imputed sin Biblical 
authority in the words of the Decalogue, "Visiting the 
iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third 
and fourth generation of them that hate me" (Exod. 
20 5). But it did not escape the Rabbis that this is 
in contradiction with the verse, "The fathers shall 
not be put to death for the children, neither shall the 
children be put to death for the fathers: every man 
shall be put to death for his own sin" (Deut. 24 I6). 

1 M, T, 71 a. 

' See M, 7% 107 1. This is in contradictioD to the statement made 
abore, p. 174, that it was the Zachuth of the Fathers which was effec- 
tive at the redemption from Egypt. According to other Rabbis at 
every redemption both in the past and in the future, various factors 
come into consideration, among them the Zachuth of the Fathers and 
repentance. See also M. 7*., 1 14 6, and references given there, with 
regard to the Zachuth which was effective on the occasion of that 
redemption. Cf. Jer. Taanith^ 63 </; M, 7'., 1069; Deut, R^2n\ 
P,R., 184 ^. The last adds, " It is repentance which causes the mercy 
of God and the Zachuth of the Fathers (to be eff^ective)." 



l86 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

They tried to meet this dfficulty by explaining that 
children are made to suffer for the sins of their fathers 
only when they perpetuate the wicked deeds of their 
parents, in which case they are considered as identical 
with their parents, for whose sins they are thus punished 
in addition to their own.* Rather interesting is the 
way in which one of the Rabbis puts this contradiction : 
** When the Holy One, blessed be he, said unto Moses, 
that he was visiting the sins of the fathers upon the chil- 
dren, Moses answered, * Master of the world, how many 
wicked people have begot righteous children ? Shall they 
share in the sins of their parents? Terah worshipped 
images, and Abraham his son was righteous; Hezekiah 
was righteous, whilst his father Ahaz was wicked. . . . 
Is it proper that these righteous sons should be pun- 
ished for the sins of their fathers?' Thereupon, the 
Holy One, blessed be he, said unto him, * Thou hast in- 
structed me well. By thy life, I shall remove my words 
and will establish thy words,' as it is said, * Fathers 
shall not be put to death for their children,' etc. (Deut. 
24 16). *By thy life, I will ascribe (these words) to 

^ See Onkeios and Pseudo-Jonathan to the verse in Ezodm. San" 
hedrirty 27^. Cf. also Mechiiia, 78^ and 114 a, and P, K*, 167^, as 
well as T. A'., i\2fty with reference to Lev. 26 w. Nachmanides in hit 
commentary to this passage in Exodus explains this contradiction that 
the visiting of the sins of the fathers takes place only in the case of 
idolatry, whilst in other sins the suffering or the punishment b con6ned 
to the individual who committed the crime. However, he gives no 
Rabbinical authority for this opinion. Perhaps he was thinking of 
Mechilta 68 a^ which explains that it is only in the case of idolatry that 
he is an KOp ^K, whilst in the case of other sins he it pSTTI Dirn. 



THE ZACHUTH OF THE FATHERS 187 

thy name/ as it is said, * But the children of the murder- 
ers he slew not : according imto that which is written 
in the book of the law of Moses, wherein the Lord 
commanded, saying, ''The fathers shall not be put to 
death for the children,"'" etc. (2 Kings 14 e)} The 
same contradiction the Rabbis also saw between Exodus 
20 5 and Elzekiel 18 20, ''The soul that sinneth, it 
shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the 
father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the 
son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon 
him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon 
him," and tried to reconcile it in the following way : That 
in the case of a man who is righteous, his wicked pos- 
terity is not liable to sufifer for their own sins so quickly, 
the pimishment being suspended for a time by the 
merits of their fathers; but in the case that a man is 
wicked, the visiting of his sins upon his wicked posterity 
will hasten the judgement of God, so that his children 
will at once be punished for their aivn evil deeds. In 
no case, however, will they suffer for the sins of their 
fathers.* Other Rabbis, however, saw in this contradic- 
tion a direct prophetic improvement upon the words of 
the Torah. " Moses said, ' God visits the sins of the 
fathers upon the children,' but there came Ezekiel and re- 
moved it and said, ' The soul that sinneth, it shall die.' " ■ 

^ See Num, R^ 19 n. > See MechiUa of R, Simon, p. 106. 

* Makkoth, 24 a, Cf. also Ag. Ber., ch. 10, where it would seem 
that there was a certain point in history when neither ancestral right- 
eoasneia nor anceitral wickedness were of any consequence to the 
children. 



i88 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

The prophetic view is the one generally accepted by 
the Rabbis.* As an exception we may perhaps con- 
sider the sin of Adam, causing death and decay to 
mankind of all generations.' When the Holy One, 
blessed be he, created Adam, the first, he took him 
around all the trees of the Paradise and he said to 
him : ** See my works, how beautiful and excellent they 
are. All that I have created I have created for thy 
sake. Take heed that thou sinnest not and destroy my 
world. For if thou hast sinned, there is none who can 
repair it. And not only this, but thou wilt also cause 
death to that righteous man (Moses). ..." It b to 
be compared to a woman with child who was in [Nison. 
There she gave birth to a son, whom she brought up 
within the prison walls before she died. Once the King 
passed before the door, and the son began crying: 
** My master, the King! Here was I bom, here was 

1 See C*TCn "*.£C, Panxu^ pp. 32 and jg, for tome interefltmg 
remarks and Bne distinctions on this poinL See also Schechter^ 
Studies in Judaism ^ p. 266 seq, 

2 See EccUs. R,, 7 w, but see also Gen, ^., 14 «. Cf. 7*. K^ 27 a. 
Cf. Num. R., 9 49. Cf. Pugio Fidei^ p. 675 (865), who seems, hotrerer, 
to have tampered with the text. There can be little doubt that the 
belief in the disastrous eflects of the sin of Adam on posterity was 
not entirely absent in Judaism, though thb belief did not hold sach 
a prominent place in the S3magogae as in the Christian Chnrch. It is 
als<j thfjught that in the overwhelming majority of mankind there is 
enough sin in each individual case to bring about death without thesa 
of Adam. See Tan. B,^ I 11 a, and Shabbath 52 a and h. The doctrioe 
was resumed and developed with great consistency by the Cabalists of 
the sixteenth century. Cf. also Ginzberg, Die Haggada bei den JCircka^ 
va/errtf p. 46. 



THE ZACHUTH OP THE FATHERS 189 

I brought up; for which crime am I placed here?" 
The King answered, " For the crime of your mother." 
Likewise there are certain national sins, as, for instance, 
the sin of the golden calf, in the expiation of which 
each generation contributes its small share, at least in 
the coin of sufifering/ 

(2) The Zachidh of a Kous Contemporary (and 
Contemporary Sin). The most important passage to 
be considered in this connection is that relating to the 
scale of merit and the scale of guilt. Believing fully in 
the justice of God, the Rabbis could not but assume 
that the actions of man form an important factor in 
the scheme of his salvation, whether for good or for 
evil. Hence the statement that man is judged in ac- 
cordance with the majority of his deeds, and the world 
in general, in accordance with the number of the right- 
eous or wicked men it contains.* In accordance with 
this is the notion of the scale of merit (or Zachuth) 
and the scale of guilt. Assuming a man to be neither 
particularly righteous nor particularly wicked, and the 
world in general to consist of an equal number of right- 
ous and wicked men, the fate of the world may be 
determined by a single action added to the scale which 
outbalances the other, and so may the fate of the whole 
world depend on it. "He performed one command- 
ment, and bliss is unto him, for he may by this have 
inclined the scales (S^SH) both with regard to himself 

^ See /er, Taaniih, 68 c, and SanAedrin, 102 a. 

* See Tostphta Kiddushin^ 336. JCiddushin, 40 b, and EccUs, ^., 10 1. 



190 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

and with regard to the whole world to the ade of Zachuih. 
He committed one sin, woe is unto him, for he may by 
this have inclined the scales both with regard to himself 
and with regard to the whole world to the side of guilt." * 
The protective power of the Zachuth of the pious 
contemporary not only turns the scales to the side 
of Zachuth but ** even maintains the world that was 
created by Ten Sayings." ' The authority for such a 
belief is given in the well-known dialogue between God 
and Abraham regarding the absence of the righteous 
men in Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 182* seq.). And 
it is with reference to this dialogue that we are told 
that Abraham received the good message that the world 
will never be lacking in a certain number of righteous 
men even like himself, for whose sake the world will 
endure.' This number is diflferently given in the vari- 
ous sources, ranking between fifty and one. " Even for 
the sake of one righteous man the world is maintained, 
as it is said, * the righteous is the foundation of the 
world ' '' (Prov. 10 25). Indeed, every day a daughter- 
voice comes from Mount Horeb, that says, " The whole 
world is fed for the sake of my son Chaninah, but he 
himself lives the whole week on a Kab of carobs." * 

^ See Kiddmhin^ 40 b^ and references. * See AbM^ 5 1. 

^ See Gen. R., 49 s. The number given there is thirty. ChuUin^ 
92 a, speaks of forty-five. P. R, E., ch. 25, has fifty. Cf. P. K^ 88 a, and 
Afl/G.f 278. The statement given in the text is from Kmm, 58^. 

* Berachoth^ 1 7 b. See also Tan, B.,$»a, For the conte m por a ry 
Zacku(h on a more limited scale, see among others, TaanUk, ao^ and 
2\ b \ Baba Afezia^ 85 a ; SafiAedrin^ 114^ ; And CkuUin^ 86 «. 



THE ZACHUTH OF THE FATHERS 191 

As to the effect of contemporary sin it is hardly 
necessary to point out that a difference is to be made 
between the punishment to be decreed by the worldly 
court and that inflicted by heaven. The court in 
Rabbinic notion is strictly confined in its dealings 
to the sinner himself. In the case of Achan, it is 
even declared against the literal sense of the Scrip- 
tures, that his children did not really suffer. Accord- 
ing to the Rabbis, they were only made to be present 
at the execution of their father, in order to come under 
the deterring effect of the whole procedure.* The judge- 
ment of heaven, however, makes the community respon- 
able for the sins of the individual. They indeed fall 
heavily into the scale, but not on the ground of imputa- 
tion, but by reason of solidarity, which was very strongly 
felt in the ancient Jewish commimity. " Israel," an an- 
cient Rabbi expressed himself, ''is like one body and one 
soul. ... If one of them sinned, they are all of them 
pimished."^ The great principle was, all Israel are 
surety one for another." " You are all surety for each 
other. If there is one righteous man among you, you will 
all be sustained by his merit, and not only you alone, but 
also the whole world ; and when one sins, the whole gen- 
eration will be punished." * This responsibility affects 

^ See Joshua 7 m and 96. Cf. Targum and commentaries to these 
▼erses, and SanAeJrin, 44 a. Against this is to be noticed P. R, E., 3S, 
text and commentaries. 

' See MechiUa of R. Simon, p. 95. Cf. Lev, R,, 4 e. See also Lewy, 
£in IVort iiber die MechiUa des R, Simon, p. 25. 

* See Sanhedrin, 27 b and references. 

^ Tan, B,f $»a and references. 



192 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

the community diflferently with different sins. In the 
case of a false oath, not only the transgressor suffers, 
but also his family as well as the rest of the world 
are visited by the divine judgement. In lighter ans, 
the community is only made responsible in the case 
when they could have protested against the crime to be 
committed, but failed to do so.* The family of the 
criminal suffers, of course, in a higher degree than 
strangers.^ It would seem, further, that, as far at 
least as the judgement of heaven was concerned, there 
was a tendency to consider the relatives of a criminal 
as a sort of accessories to the crime. Thus the ques- 
tion is put with reference to Lev. 20 «, "If he sinned, 
what crime did his family commit ?" The answer given 
is, '* There is no family counting among its members 
a publican in which they are not all publicans. There 
is no family counting among its members a highwayman 
in which they are not all highwaymen." * Little 
children seem to form almost a part of their fathers' 
selves and suffer on that account for the sins of their 
parents. They are not included in the classes of chil- 
dren exempt by the law of Lev. 24 I6.* The elders 

^ See Shebuothf 39 a. ^ See Shebu9tky 39 b. Sec, however, next note. 

^ See T. K.y 91 r, Pseudo-Jonathan to the verse in LeviticiiB, and 
Shebuoihf ibid. The comment of the Gemara seems to labour under 
the difBculty of reconciling various Rabbinic sayings. More probable 
it is that this heavy responsibility of the family refers on the whole to 
the sins of a very serious nature, such as a false oath, the worshipping 
of Moloch, etc. 

* See Sifre^ 124/2, and cf. below, p. 175, where the reason is given 
that they stand surety for their parents. From a Midraah quoted ia 



THE ZACHUTH OP THE FATHERS 193 

and leaders, again, of the community are burdened 
with a special responsibility, as it is assumed that their 
protest may, by reason of their authority, prevent crime.* 
The Scriptural words, "Cursed be he tb»t con- 
firmeth not all the words of this law to do them" 
(Deut. 27 26), are interpreted to refer to the worldly 
tribunal which fails in its duty to enforce the law and 
to protest against crime.^ Again, with reference to 
Prov. 6 1, the Rabbis remarked: This verse refers 
to the student. As long as one is a mere student, he 
is not concerned in the commimity and will not be 
punished for the sin of the latter. But when he is 
appointed at its head and has put on the gown (a special 
dress which the Rabbi used to wear in his judicial 
capacity) . . . the whole burden of the public is upon 
him. n he sees a man using violence agamst his 
neighbour or committing an immoral action and does 
not protest, he will surely be punished." Indeed, he who 
has the power of protesting and does not protest, he 
who has the power to bring Israel back to the good and 
does not bring them back, is responsible for all the 
bloodshed in Israel, as though he would have com- 

MHG,^ 4 6, MS., it would still seem that the loss of children is only 
another kind of punishment of the father. rO'K D'3fiDpn nbn '^SK 

|ra iD^rw 'awa naba 'srpry praub ihk rbm. See also Mid- 
rash Zuia^ 47, that this death or suffering of children for the sin of 
their fathers is only up to the age of 13. After this age it is for the 
child's own sin. Cf. also L5w's LebensaUer, p. 411. 

^ See SAoMaik, 55 a. Cf. Tan. B,, 3 si ^ and references there. 

* See/er. Sotah^ 21 d. » Exod, R,, 27 9. 

O 



194 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

mitted the murder himself. For, as already stated, 
all Israel are surety one for another. They are to be 
compared to a company sailing in a ship, of whom one 
took a drill and began to bore a hole under his seat. 
When his friends protested, he said, "What does this 
concern you? Is not this the place assigned to me?" 
They answered him, "But will not the water come up 
through this hole and flood the whole vessel?" Like- 
wise the sin of one endangers the whole community.^ 

The community, however, according to the majority 
of the Rabbis, is not responsible for the sins conmiitted 
in secret. "When Israel stood on Mount Sinai they 
all made up one heart to receive the kingdom of heaven 
in joy, and not only this, they pledged themselves one 
for the other. When the Holy One, blessed be he, 
revealed himself to make a covenant with them which 
should also include the secret things, they said, *We 
will make a covenant with thee for the things seen, but 
not for the things secret, lest one among us commit a 
sin in secret and the whole community be made re- 
sponsible."* ' This condition of Israel was accepted 
by God. "Things hidden are revealed to the Lord, 
our God, and he will punish for them, but things seen 
are given over to us and to our children forever, to do 

^ See S. £., p. 56. Cf. also Lev. R,^ 4 e. 

^ Mfchilia^ 66 b. The reading there is not quite certain. Cf. com- 
mentary. In the text the reading of the Yalkut was partly followed. 
For opposite views, see Fried mann, Introduction to S, £., p. 73, and 
references given there to Sanhedrin^ 43 b. 



THE ZACHUTH OP THE FATHERS 195 

judgement concerning them." * Quite isolated seems to 
be the opinion according to which this exemption from 
mutual responsibility extended after the Revelation 
on Mount Sinai also to things seen. It is expressed 
in the following way: From the moment that God 
gave the Torah, it is only he who sins that will be 
punished, though before that the whole generation was 
responsible for the sin of the individual. Thus there 
were many righteous men swept away with the deluge 
in the times of Noah.^ On the other hand, we have 
also the view that this responsibility extended also 
to things secret with the moment all Israel passed 
the Jordan (and established there a proper common- 
wealth)." It was only after the destruction of the 
Second Temple, when the Sanhedrin gathered in Jab- 
neh, that they were relieved from this responsibility, a 
voice from heaven proclaiming, "You need not busy 
yourselves with things hidden;"* that is to say, that 
with the loss of Israel's political independence, and 
proper jurisdiction of the community over all its mem- 
bers connected with it, the solidarity was also, partially 
at least, relaxed. 

(3) The Zachuih of a Kous Posterity, or the sin of 
a wicked posterity which has a retroactive influence 
upon their progenitors. With regard to sin there is 

^ See Pseudo-Jonathan to Dent. 29 6. * Tan,, HIH, 3. 

* See Sanhtdrin, 43 b. The reading is uncertain. See commentaries. 
Cf. also Sifre, 18 a ; A. R, N",, 50 a and b, and references. 
^/er, Sotak, 22 a. 



196 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

only a faint trace of such a belief left in the earlier 
Rabbinic literature. It is with reference to Deut. 
21 8, where the statement is made that even the 
dead are in need of an atonement, but the context 
shows that such an atonement is only needed in case 
of murder, which is supposed to have a damaging 
eflfect upon the ancestors of the murderer. It is not 
impossible that this notion was suggested by Ezekiel 
18 10, '* And if he begat a son that is a robber or a 
shedder of blood." The murderer is thus bom already 
with the taint of his subsequent an. But, if the ances- 
tor can be affected by a sin not conunitted by himself, 
it is only reasonable that he should secure pardon 
by an atoning action accomplished by posterity.* 
More ample are the references to the Zachulh of a 
pious posterity. Thus the Holy One, blessed be he, 
acts kindly with the first (fathers) for the sake of 
the Zachiith of the latter ones (descendants), as was 
the case with Noah, who was saved for the sake of 
his children.' Abraham, again, became worthy of 
taking possession of the land for the sake of the 
Zachuth attaching to the commandment of bringing 
the first sheaf of their harvest, which Israel will ac- 
complish.' There was even a saying that a son can 
make his father acquire a merit,* "for so they said, 

1 See Sifrej 1 12 ^ (§ no), text and commentary, especially note 6. 
The text is m)t quite certain. The Halachic point of riew. of this 
question is fully treated by Azulai, *101^ HW, p. 54 seq, 

2 Gen, A\, 29 6. > Sec P, IT., 71 a ; Lev. R,, 28 e. 
* See Sanhedrin, 104 a. 



THE ZACHUTH OP THE FATHERS 197 

Children save their parents from the judgement of 
Gehenna." And so Solomon said, "Correct thy son 
and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight 
imto thy soul" (Prov. 29 17); that is, he will deliver 
thee from the judgement in the Gehenna, and will 
delight thy soul in Paradise with the righteous.* 

This relief coming from the children is, according to 
the source of the statement just given, only for four 
generations, God suspending the judgement of the 
ancestors till their great-grandchildren are grown 
up, by whose righteousness they might be relieved. 
" And so Samuel said to Israel, * But if ye will not 
obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the 
commandment of the Lord, then shall the hand of 
the Lord be against you and against your fathers* 
(i Samuel 12 15). Be therefore careful that you do 
not provoke the wrath of God and receive punishment, 
so that even your fathers, whose sins were in suspense, 
who were hoping for your redeeming merits will now 
be judged according to their deeds." ' The relief by 

^ Af//G., Num. Ms., 81 a. 

* Af/fC, ibid. He derives this doctrine from Exod. ao 6, taking the 
word Ipfi in the sense of depositing or entrusting. See MechiUa of 
R, Simon, p. 106, text and notes, and cf. P.JiT,, 167 a. This interpre- 
tation is preceded by a long argument ascribed to Tannaitic authorities 
in favour of this doctrine. Cf. ReshUh Chochmah, Section 0^32 ^1*U, 
ed. Cracow, pp. 332 b^ 334 b, and 375 a and b, where the contents 
of these extracts from MI/G. are to be found, but in a rather corrupt 
text. Some reminiscence of it is to be found in Eccles, ^.,41. See 
also D-^ m, by R. Abraham of Wilna, p. 34 b, and D'TDip'?.-! TM by 
Grfinhnt, 3 a, seg. Cf. also CTTDn *nfiO, Parma, pp. 76 and 361. See 
also Rashi and Kimchi to Samuel la is. 



198 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

the posterity is extended from children to the general 
public, and a principle is laid down that the living re- 
deem the dead/ and indeed we find cases in Rabbinical 
literature where prayers were offered for the benefit of 
the dead.' It does not seem, however, that the doctrine 
took root in Jewish conscience. The whole of the 
original liturg\' has not a single reference to the dead, 
nor is there during the first ten centuries of our era to 
be found a single fixed prayer for the benefit of those 
departed. The first time we meet with the practical 
question of the use of offering alms or prayers for the 
dead is in the Responsa of a certain Gaon in the 
eleventh centur}, who was asked whether the offerings 
made for the dead can be of any advantage to them. 
He seems to have been quite astonished by this ques- 
tion, and confesses his ignorance of such a custom.' 

^ See Tanckuma, *2*TKn, I ; Tan, B,^ Introdaction, 90 a, 

^ See Gen. A*., 98 2, and reference given there; CkagigaA^ 15 h\ 

Soiahf 10 b\ Makkoth^ \\ h, Cf. alto Friedmann's D71B03, p. 33 uq,\ 

• Maccabees, 1 3 « seq, 

s See T '^r p2p of the Mekize Nirdamim, BerUn, 1886, pp. 16 and 

17, and cf. I/echaluz, 13 »a. Cf. also VtSr\ fTXI by R. Abraham bu 

Chiya, p. 58 seq.t and ^ a. 



XIII 

THE LAW OF HOLINESS AND THE 
LAW OF GOODNESS 

Holiness is the highest achievement of the Law 
and the deepest experience as well as realisation of 
righteousness. It is a composite of various aspects not 
easily de&nable, and at times even seemingly contra- 
dictory. But diverging as the ideals of holiness may 
be in their application to practical life, they all originate 
in the conception of the kingdom, the central idea of 
Rabbinic theology, and in Israel's consciousness of 
its close relation to his God, the King/ In its broad 
features holiness is but another word for Imitatio Dei, 
a duty intimately associated with Israel's close contact 
with God. The most frequent name for God in the 
Rabbinic literature is " the Holy One,"occaaonally also 
"Holiness,"* and so Israel is called holy." But 
the holiness of Israel is dependent on their acting in 
such a way as to become God-like.* "Ye shall be 

^ See above, p. 65 sef, 

* See Blau, Zur Einleitungt p. 13; Bacher, Terminolegie, I im. 
See also Friedmaim. Introduction to D71BD3, p. 2a 

* See Tan. B,, 3 Vb; P,K, ill a\ S£. 133. Cf. also ShabbaA, 
86 a, and references given there. 

^ See NuM, R., 9 4 and 17 6. 

199 



200 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

holy, for I the Lord am holy" (Lev. 192). These 
words are explained by the ancient Rabbinic sage 
Abba Saul to mean "Israel is the familia (suite or 
bodyguard) of the King (God), whence it is incumbent 
upon them to imitate the King." * The same thought 
is expressed in different words by another Rabbi, who 
thus paraphrases the verse from Leviticus which has 
just been cited. ** Ye shall be holy, and why? because 
I am holy, for I have attached you unto me, as it is 
said, 'For as the girdle cleaves to the loins of a man, 
so I have caused to cleave unto me the whole house of 
Israel' '' ^Jer. 13 11).' Another Rabbi remarked, "God 
said to Israel, Even before I created the world you 
were sanctified unto me; be ye therefore holy as I am 
holy;'' and he proceeds to say, "The matter is to be 
compared to a king who sanctified (by wedlock) a 
woman unto him, and said to her: Since thou art my 
wife, what is my glory is thy glory, be therefore holy 
even as I am holy." ' In other words, Israel ha\ing 
the same relation to God as the familia to the king, 
or as the wife to the husband, or as children to the 
father,* it follows that thev should take him as thdr 
model, imitating him in holiness. 

Before proceeding to some analysis of this Imiiaiio 
Deiy or holiness, as suggested by the Rabbinic literature, 

* T./r.f 86 r. Cf. Bachcr, /1^. Tan,, 2 ur, and Lewy, C/eier timigt 
Fragfnenie aus dtr Mischna dts Abba San/, p. 23. 
^ Tan. B., 3 r ». Cf. also PJC,, 16 «. 
' Tan. B., in a. * Sec Lev, Jl,, 24^ 



LAW OF HOUNESS AND LAW OF GOODNESS 20I 

it must be remarked that the Hebrew term Kedushah 
does not quite cover our term holiness, the mystical 
and higher aspect of it being better represented by the 
Hebrew term Chasiduth (saintliness), for which Ke- 
dushah is only one of the preparatory virtues; * though 
the two ideas are so naturally allied that they are not 
always separated in Rabbinical texts. I shall, never- 
thelesSy in the following pages classify my remarks 
under the two headings of Kedushah and Chasiduth. 
The former moves more within the limits of the Law, 
though occasionally exceeding it, whilst the latter, aspir- 
ing to a superior kind of holiness, not only supplements 
the Law, but also proves a certain corrective to it. 

As we have seen, holiness, according to Abba Saul, 
is identical with Imitation of God. The nature of this 
imitation is defined by him thus: "/ and he, that is 
like unto him (God). As he is merciful and gracious, 
so be thou (man) merciful and gracious." * The 
Scriptural phrases "walking in the ways of God" 
(Deut. II 22), and "being called by the name of God" 
(Joel 35), are again explained to mean, "As God is 
called merciful and gracious, so be thou merciful and 

^ See T. B. Ahodah Zarah, 20 3, and Rabbinowicz, Variae Lee- 
tioius to the passages. All the parables, however (given by Bacher 
in his Ag. Tan, 2, p. 496, note 5, to which Midrash Prov,^ 15* it Also 
to be added), have mTDH close to yi^'rCT^ 

* MeckUia, 37 a, and Shabbaih 133 ^ and parallels. The inter- 
pretation of Abba Saul is based on the word XTISK^ in Exod. 159^ 
which he divides into ^Tl ^3K, meaning, ** I (man) and he (God).** 
See alio above, pp. 90 and 1 19. 



202 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

gracious ; as God is called righteous, so be thou right- 
eous ; as God is called holy, so be thou holy." * Again, 
as the way of heaven is that he is ever merciful 
against the wicked and accept their repentance, so be ye 
merciful against each other. As he bestows gifts on 
those who know him and those who know him not and 
deserve not his gifts, so bestow ye gifts upon each other.' 
"The profession of the Holy One, blessed be he, is 
charity and loving-kindness, and Abraham, who wiU 
command his children and his household after him 
*that they shall keep the way of the Lord' (Gen. i8 19), 
is told by God: 'Thou hast chosen my profession; 
wherefore thou shalt also become like unto me, an an- 
cient of days.'"' The imitation receives practical 
shape in the following passage: "The members of the 
house of Israel arc in duty bound to deal with one 
another mercifully, to do charity {Mizwah)^ and to 
practise kindness. For the Holy One, blessed be He, 
has only created this world with loving-kindness and 
mercy, and it rests with us to learn from the ways of 
God." Thus said Rabbi Chama b. Chaninah, "... 
Walk in the attributes of God (or rather make his 
attributes the rule for thy conduct). As he clothes 
the naked (Gen. 321), so do thou clothe the naked; 
as he nurses the sick (Gen. 18 1), so do thou nurse the 
sick ; as he comforts the mourners (Gen. 25 u), so 
do thou comfort the mourners; as he buries the dead 

* Sj/r^, 85 a. It seems that the Rabbis read in Joel >tXJ*. 

' S,£., p. 135. Cf. Mechilta, 59 tf. » See Gen. R^ 58^ 9. 



LAW OF HOUNESS AND LAW OF GOODNESS 203 

(Deut. 34«), SO do thou bury the dead."* Again, 
when R. Judah b. Hai interrupted his lectures in order 
to join the bridal procession, he would address his 
disciples with the words, " My children ! rise and show 
your respect to the bride (by joining the procession), 
for so we find that the Holy One, blessed be he, acted 
as best man to Eve." * Indeed, it is maintained that 
God himself observes the commandments, acting in 
this respect as an example to his children.* The im- 
itation is further extended to mere good manners, in 
which God is also taken as a model. Thus, for 
instance, we are told by the Rabbis : Let man learn 
proper behaviour from the Omnipresent, who, though 
knowing the absence of righteous men from Sodom 
and Gomorrah, did not mterrupt Abraham in his m- 
tercession for these cities, but waited until he finished his 
pleading and even took leave before parting with him.* 
It is to be remarked that this God-likeness is con- 

^ Sotahj 14 a. The beginning of the passage is taken from 
the ITVirn 'B fl^riTKV. According to the Agadic explanations 
Abraham was in an invalid state when God appeared to him in the 
plains of Mamre. The blessing, again, spoken of in Gen. 25 11, which 
took place after the death of Abraham, was meant as a message of 
condolence. 

' See A, R. A^., 10 a. The words, " And he brought unto the man " 
(Gen. 2 ss), are understood by the Rabbis that God took particular care 
to present Eve to Adam in the adorned state of a bride. See Gen. R,^ 

• Sec /tr, BMurim, 66 f, and Lev, R,, 35 s. 

^ See Z>. E.^ ch. 5. I supplemented the passage with the parallel 
in A. R. N^ 56 a. Cf. also Gen. R,^%%\ Tan. ^., i ss » ; and Sukkah^ 
30 tf. 



204 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

fined to his manifestations of mercy and righteonsDesSy 
the Rabbis rarely desiring the Jew to take God as a 
model in his attributes of severity and rigid justice, 
though the Bible could have furnished them with 
many instances of this latter kind. Interesting in this 
connection is the way in which the commandment of 
the Imitation was codified by some of the later authori- 
ties: *'The Holy One, blessed be He, ordained that 
man should cleave to his ways, as it is written, *Thou 
shalt fear the Lord thy God, him shalt thou serve, and 
to him shalt thou cleave' (Deut. lo 19). But how can 
man cleave to the Shechinah? Is it not written, 
* For the Lord thy God b a consuming fire, a jealous 
God'? (Deut. 424). But cleave to his ways: as God 
nurses the sick, so do thou nurse the sick, and so 
forth.'' * The feature of jealousy is thus quite ignored, 
whilst the attributes of mercy and graciousness become 
man's law. Indeed, it is distinctly taught that man 
should not imitate God in the following four things, 
which He alone can use as instruments. They are, 
jealousy fDeut. 6 6), revenge (Ps. 94 1), exaltation 
(Exod. 1521, Ps. 931), and acting in devious wajrs.' 
The prophet Elijah, who said, "I have been very 
jealous for the Lord God of Hosts" (i Kings 19x0), 
and even repeated the denunciation of Israel {ibid. 



^ R. Diezer of Metz, CltT "ICO, f 3. See alio Maimonide^ DTfD, 

2 Af/fC, p. 549; cf. tTTpn rs-n ^tCprm, cd. SchOnblam, { 54 m 
the Five Groups. 



LAW OF HOUNESS AND LAW OF GOODNESS 30$ 

V. 14), was, according to the Rabbis, rebuked by God, 
who answered him, "Thou art always jealous," and 
was removed from his prophetic oflSce, Elisha being 
appointed prophet in his stead.* 

The second or negative aspect of holiness is implied 
in the Hebrew word Kedushah, the original meaning 
of which seems to be "separation" and "withdrawal." ' 
So the Rabbis paraphrase the verse, "Sanctify your- 
selves, therefore, and be holy, for I am holy" (Lev. 
II 44), with the words, "As I am separated, so be ye 
separated." * By the separateness of God is not 
meant any metaphysical remoteness, but merely aloof- 
ness and withdrawal from things impure and deWing, 
as incompatible with God's holiness, whence Israel 
should also be removed from everything impure and 
defiling. 

Foremost among the things impure, which range 
very widely, are: idolatry, adultery, and shedding of 
blood. To these three cardinal sins the term Tumah 
(defilement) is especially applied.* The defiling nature 
of the second (including all sexual immorality) is par- 
ticularly dwelt upon in Rabbinic literature. Thus 

1 See S. E. Z., p. 187 ; and Yalkut to Kings^ f 217. Cf. also Cant, 
J?., I 6 ; Agadath Shir Hashirim, p. 45. See also above, p. 52. 

* See Robertson Smithes Religion of the Semites^ p. 140, about the 
uncertainty of the original meaning of the word. 

^ T.K^lTb, Cf. iHd., 86 c. 

^ See Moreh Nebuchim^ 3 47. Maimonides' explanation was nn- 
donbtedly suggested to him by T, K.<, 81 a (to Lev. 16 is). Cf. below, 
p. 122 seq. See also Sifre^ 113 <>» where it is said of the daughters of 
Israel that they are mTHBI nwnp* 



ao6 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

the Rabbis interpret the verse, "And ye shall be unto 
me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation" (Exod. 
19 1), with the words, " Be unto me a kingdom of 
priests, separated from the nations of the world and 
their abominations.'* * This passage must be taken 
in connection with another, in which, with alluaon to 
the scriptural words, "And ye shall be holy unto me 
. . . and I have severed you from other people that 
you should be mine" (Lev. 2026), the Rabbis point 
to the sexual immorality which divides the heathen 
from Israel.' In fact, all incontinence was called 
Tumah (impurity), indulgence in which disqualifies 
(or cuts man off from God); God says, "What joy 
can I have in him?" ' but he who surrounds himself 
with a fence against anything unchaste is called holy/ 
and he "who shutteth his eyes from seeing evil (in the 
sense of immorality) is worthy of receiving the very 
presence of the Shechinah,^^ * 

The notion of impurity is further extended to all 
things stigmatised in the Levitical legislation as un- 
clean, particularly to the forbidden foods "which 

1 Affchilta, 63 a, A few lines before these is giyen another ezplana- 
tion to the words tmp *ir, which was taken by the great master of 
the Agada, Lector Friedmann, to contain a protest against proselytis- 
ing. The text, however, seems to be corrupt, and reads in the MHG^ 

♦ tr-ip "'r b"n vn D':ro -m "ai or pro. a. MtchWa of j?. 

Simoftt p. 95. 

2 T. A'., 93 b. Cf. Num, R., 97. * Liv, ^^ 26 s. 

8 T. A'., 86 </. •See Lev, R., aj, end. 



LAW OF HOUNESS AND LAW OF GOODNESS 207 

make the soul abominable," the command being, 
" Be holy in your body." The observance of these 
laws the Rabbis seem to consider as a special privilege 
of Israel, marking the great distinction between them 
and the "descendants of Noah," * whilst in the trans- 
gression of them they saw the open door leading to 
idolatry ; in a word, to a deeper degree of impurity.' 

The soul is also made abominable — and hence 
impure — according to the Rabbis, by doing anything 
which is calculated to provoke disgust, as, for instance, 
by eating from unclean plates or taking one's food with 
filthy hands.* In fact, to do anything which might 
have a sickening effect upon others is ranked among 
the hidden sins which "God shall bring into judge- 
ment";* but he who is careful to refrain from things 
filthy and repulsive brings upon himself a particular 
holiness purifying his soul for the sake of the holy one; 
as it is said, "Ye shall sanctify yourselves." * 

* Sec Exod, R,, 30 9, and ibid.^ 31 », Cf. Tan, B,, 3 M », and lee 
also Pseudo-Jonathan to Lev. 20 7. 

' This seems to me to be the meaning of the words in D, E, Z., ch. 

3, r^ nnfi micoTD n'?nn. See t. k., 57 b, ona nnic oncoD qki 

D3 IC23&^ D3B1D and cf. the ^''^KH. The other explanation giyen 
there suggests our passage to be a parallel to that quoted in the 
preceding note from the D, E. Z. Perhaps we should read in T, K,, 

» Sec T. B. Makkoth, i6 b, and Maimonides, nmOiC mteiCO ma^l, 
f 17, the last five nis'^n. 

^ See T, B. Chagigah^ 5 a, the explanation of Rab. to Eccles., 12 14. 

* Maimonides, ibid, Cf. T, B, Berachoth^ 53 b^ the last line of the 
page. 



2o8 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

Lastly, we have to record here that view which ex- 
tends the notion of impurity to every transgression of 
Biblical law. Every transgression has the effect of 
stupefying the heart/ whilst the observance of the 
laws in the Torah is productive of an additional holi- 
ness.^ According to this new, all the commandments, 
negative and afifirmative, have to be considered as so 
many lessons in discipline, which if only as an educa- 
tion in obedience, result in establishing that communion 
between man and God which is the crowning reward of 
holiness. Thus the Rabbis say, with allusion to the 
verse, ''That yc may remember and do all my com- 
mandments and be holy unto your God" (Num. 
15 40), "Heart and eyes are the two middlemen of 
sin in the body, leading him astray. The matter is 
to be compared to a man drowning in water, to 
whom the shipmaster threw out a cord, saying unto 
him. Hold fast to this cord, for if thou permit it to 
csca{)e thee, there is no life for thee. Likewise, 
the Holy One, blessed be he, said to Israel, *As 
long as you cling to my laws, you cleave unto the 
Lord your God (which means life). ... Be holy, 
for as long as you fulfil my commandments you 

1 See T. B. Yoma. 39 a, .TTa» SkJWW 1 ^1 ^ etc. Bf .TTM 
in this passage is meant the transgression of any law. 

2 See Mechilta, 98 a, and T. K.^ 35 <?, and 91 d^ ITOCDn Ss I'WTTp. 
The MI/G. also seems to read in T. K, (to Lev. 1 1 44), IT DTIVTlpinrn 
r^^ rir*Tp; a reading which is confirmed by Maimonides when he 
sa>'s {A for eh Nebuchimy 3 88. 47), * * * DftttTlprm H^IT fttSK B3QK 

n'xc rrr-ip n ir.cc j'r*?. a. also his orrD, $ 4. 



LAW OF HOUNESS AND LAW OF GOODNESS aOQ 

are sanctified, but if you neglect them, you will be- 
come profaned.'"* 

Thus far holiness still moves within the limits of the 
law, the obedience to which sanctifies man, and the 
rebellion against which defiles. There is, however, 
another superior kind of holiness which rises above the 
Law, and which, as already indicated in the opening 
remarks of this chapter, should be more correctly termed 
ChasidtUh (saintliness). The characteristic of the 
Chasid, as it is somewhere pointed out, is that he does 
not wait for a distinct commandment. He endeavours 
to be pleasant to his Maker, and like a good son studies 
his father's will, inferring from the explicit wishes of 
the father the direction in which he is likely to give 
him joy.* Hence the tendency of the Chasid to devote 
himself with more zeal and self-sacrifice to one law or 
group of laws than to others; just according to the 
particular bent of his mind, and the individual con- 
ception of the will of his father. Thus Rab Judah 
perceives the " things of Chasiduth^^ in paying particular 
attention to the tractate Nezikin (Damages), including 
the laws regarding the returning of lost goods, pro- 
hibition of usury, etc., and in avoiding anything which 
might result in injury to a fellow-man. Rabba again 
defines Chasiduih as carrying out the prescriptions 
in the tractate of Aboth; a tractate, be it observed, in 
which the ritual element is quite absent, as it is limited 

^ Num. R^ 17 6. See also above, p. 168. 

* See Luzzatto, DHBT rib^Dfi, ed. Warsaw, p. 24^. « 



aio SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

to the moral sayings and spiritual counsels given by 
the ancient Jewish authorities. Another (anonymous) 
author thinks that Chcsiduth consists in closely observ- 
ing the laws prescribed in the (liturgical) tractate 
Berachoth (Benedictions), prayer and thanksgiving hav- 
ing been probably the particular passion of this Rabbi.* 
The principle of Chasiduth is perhaps best summa- 
rised by the Talmudic formula, "Sanctify thyself even 
in that which is permitted to thee." ' R. Eliezer, of 
Worms, who takes this saying as the motto to one of his 
chapters on the Regulations of Chasiduth, comments 
upon it to the effect: "Sanctify thyself and thy 
thoughts, reflect ujx)n the unity (of God, and think 
of) w^hom thou art serving, who (it is that) observes 
thee, who (it is that) knows thy deeds, and who (it 
is) to whom thou wilt return. . . . Hence be (in 
ritual questions) stringent with thyself and lenient 
towards others. . . . The Torah in certain cases made 
concessions to the weakness of the flesh (hence the 
law cannot always be taken as the supreme standard 
of conduct). Take no oath even for the truth. . . . 
Keep thee from ever}' wicked thing (Deut. 23 11), which 
means, among others, not to think even of the things 
impure/' etc' Impure thinking was, in the Rabbinic 

^ See Baba Kama^ 30 a^ text and commentaries, especially the f'H 
to their corresponding place in the CDTK H"!. For the ten things of 
the Cfia$iduth which Rah is said to have observed (mixture of die 
ceremonial and nuiral) sec Sefer Ha-Orah, ed. Buber, pp. 3 and 4. 

'^ See Sifrey 95 a ; T. B, Jehamoth^ 20 a. 

' See R. Klie/cr of Worms, Introduction to the T(^f^ 



LAW OF HOUNESS AND LAW OF GOODNESS ail 

view, the antecedent to impure doing, and the ideal 
saint was as pure of heart as of hand, acting no im- 
purity and thinking none. 

Very expressive is Nachmanides, whose comments 
on the Rabbinic paraphrase of Lev. ii 44, "As I am 
separated so be ye separated," are to the following 
effect : — 

According to my opinion, by the Talmudic term 
nwnfi separcUeness, is not meant the abstaining 
from Arayoth (sexual intercourse forbidden in the 
Bible), but something which gives to those who practise 
it the name of Perushim. The matter (is thus) : The 
Torah has forbidden Arayoth as well as certain kinds 
of food, but allowed intercourse between man and his 
wife as well as the eating of meat and the drinking of 
wine. But even withm these limits can the man of 
(degenerate) appetites be drenched in lusts, become a 
drunkard and a glutton, as well as use impure lan- 
guage, since there is no (distinct) prohibition against 
these things in the Torah. A man could thus be the 
worst libertine with the very license of the Torah. 
Therefore the Scriptures, after giving the things for- 
bidden absolutely (in detail), concluded with a general 
law (of holiness), to show that we must also abstain 
from things superfluous. As for instance, that even 
permitted sexual intercourse should be submitted to 
restrictions (of holiness), preserving it against degener- 
ating into mere animal lust ; that the drinking of wine 
should be reduced to a minimum, the Nazir being called 



2ia SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

holy because he abstains from drink; and that one 
should guard one's mouth and tongue against being 
defiled by gluttony and vile language. Man should 
indeed endeavour to reach a similar degree of holi- 
ness to R. Chiya, who never uttered an idle word in 
his life. The Scriptures warn us to be clean, pure, and 
separated from the crowd of men who taint themselves 
with luxuries and ugliness.* 

It will be observed that this corrective of the Law 
is not considered by Nachmanides as a new revelation; 
according to him it is implied in the general scriptural 
rule of holiness, which, of course, considering the 
indefinable nature of holiness, can be extended to any 
length. Xor were the Rabbis conscious of any innova- 
tion in or addition to the Torah when they promul- 
gated the principle of sanctifying oneself by refraining 
from things permitted; a principle which can be and 
was applied both to matters ritual as well as to morals 
and conduct.^ As it would seem, they simply looked 
upon it as a mere " Fence" (Geder) preventing man from 
breaking through the limits drawn by the Torah itself. 
Ver}' instructive in this respect is the conversation which 
the Talmud puts in the mouth of King David and his 
friend Hushai, the Archite. When David was fleeing 
before his rebellious son Absalom, he is reported to have 
been asked by Hushai, " Why hast thou married a cap- 

1 Commentary to the Pentateuch, Lev. 19 «. 

* See np'", i/>iJ.f where he deducts from it certain ttriogeat 
rules, regarding the dietary laws as well as others bearing on coadncL 



LAW OF HOLINESS AND LAW OF GOODNESS 213 

tured woman?" For, according to Rabbinic legend, 
Absalom's mother Maacah (2 Sam. 3 3) was a woman 
taken captive in war. Hushai thus accounted for the 
misfortune which had befallen David by this unhappy 
marriage. But David answered him, "Has not the 
Merciful allowed such a marriage?" (Deut. 21 ia-i3), 
whereupon Hushai rejoins, " Why didst thou not study 
the order of the Scriptures in that place?" In other 
words, the fact that the regulations regarding the woman 
taken captive in war are closely followed by the law 
concerning the stubborn and rebellious son (Deut. 21 
18-21), indicates that the Torah, though not absolutely 
forbidding it, did not wholly approve of such a marriage, 
but foretold that its offspring was likely to prove a 
source of misery to his parents.^ The corrective of 
the Law, for the neglect of which corrective David is so 
terribly punished, is thus effected, not by something 
antagonistic to or outside of it, but by its own proper 
interpretation and expansion. As another instance of 
this kind I quote the following, which, rendered in the old 
Rabbinic style, would run thus: "We have heard that 
it is written, *Thou shalt not kiir (Exod. 20 13). We 
should then think that the prohibition is confined to ac- 
tual murder. But there are also other kinds of shedding 
blood, as, for instance, to put a man to shame in public, 
which causes his blood to leave his face. Hence to 
cause this feeling is as bad as murder, whence he who is 
guilty of it loses his share in the world to come.* Again, 

^ See 71 ^. Sanhedrin^ 107 a. > See 7*. Z. Baba Mena^ 59 0, 



214 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

we have heard that it is written, ' Thou shalt not commit 
adultery' (Exod. 20 u). But the phrase in Job (2415)1 
*The eye also of the adulterer waiteth for twilight/ 
teaches us that an unchaste look is also to be con- 
sidered as adultery; and the verse, 'And that ye seek 
not after your own heart and your own eyes, after 
which ye used to go a whoring' (Num. 15 39), teaches 
us that an unchaste look or even an unchaste thought 
are also to be regarded as adultery." * 

The law of goodness, closely connected with the law 
of holiness, is another corrective of the Law. It 
developed from such general commandments as the one 
in Deuteronomy, '* And thou shalt do that which is ri^t 
and good in the sight of the Lord " (6 18), which, as 
Xachmanides aptly remarked, means that the Torah 
bids man to direct his mind to do what is good and up- 
right in the sight of God, seeing that God loves goodness 
and uprightness. He proceeds to say, "This is an 
im{X)rtant point, for it is impossible to refer in the Torah 
to all the relations between man and his neighbours, 
and his friends, his business affairs, and to aU the im- 
provements bearing upon one's community and one's 

^ See Lrv. R., 23 11. Cf. P, R,, 1 24 3, text and notes. See •koJIft' 

chilla of R. Simon, 1 1 1, sbs K^n fTS K*?1 * ♦ ♦ ^JKr |6B7 »|IOn l6 K^ 

cr-rr •-.rrKi d=22'? "^jtk rrnn i6i 'STcn pro a^ prw pot 

Cf. also New Testament, Matt. 5 ii and sr. I suspect that the ex- 
pression in the N. T., ** Ye have heard," had originally something to 
do with the Talmudic formula ^71 * * * '':K rOTT, or * * * XSOtSO «S 
b"n ♦ ♦ * K^K, or b"n ♦ ♦ ♦ pawns {y^MechiUa,%\lf,%2h,UiA%^ay. 
Cf. also below, 224 seq. 



LAW OF HOUNESS AND LAW OF GOODNESS aiS 

country." But after the Torah had mentioned many 
such laws in another place (Lev. 19), it repeats in 
a general way that man has to do what is good and 
upright, which includes such things as arbitration (in 
the case of money litigations) and the not insisting 
upon the strict law. It further includes certain laws 
relating to neighbourly considerations as well as to 
kindly behaviour towards one's fellow-men.* Jerusalem 
indeed was destroyed only because of the sin that they 
insisted upon the law of the Torah,* thereby trans- 
gressing the law of goodness. According to others, 
this precept of not insisting upon the law of the Torah, 
and acting in a merciful way, is to be derived from 
Exod. 18 ao, where Moses is asked to make Israel 
acquainted both with the Law and with the (merciful) 
actions going beyond the Law.' As a practical illus- 
tration of this law of goodness, we quote here the fol- 
lowing case: Rabba Bar bar Ghana had a litigation 
with carriers who broke (during their work) a cask of 
wine. He then took away their clothes ; whereupon 
they brought to Rab a complaint against him. Rab 

^ See Nachmanides' commentary to Deut 6 u. (X Deut 12 ss and 
14 19. See also Sifre^ 91a and 94 a, on these vexses. Cf. also Maimon- 
ides, tnSPD, 14 s, text and commentaries. 

*Baba Metiah^ 13 3. 

* See MechiUay 59 b\ Baba Menah, 30 b; cf. also Pseudo-fonathan 
to this yerse in Exod., where it is emphasised that this merciful treat- 
ment beyond the law should extend also to the wicked, fn and Q^9B7 
\'^S^ nWO correspond often with pTH nO and D^lMTin ITTO, the 
quality of law or justice and the quality of mercy. See //r. Baba 
Kama^ 6 c Note the use of these terms of men. 



2i6 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

said to him, '* Give them back thdr clothes." Rabba 
then asked, *' Is this the law?" He said, "Yes (as 
it is said, * Thou mayest walk in the way of the good ' 
[Prov. 2 jo])." He gave them back their clothes. The 
carriers then said, " We are poor men and laboured the 
whole day, and now we are hungry and have nothing 
to eat." Rab then said, " Pay them their wages." 
Whereupon Rabba again asked, "Is this the law?" 
He said, '* Yes (as it is said), ' And keep the path of 
the righteous* [Prov. /6td.]."* A not less striking 
case is the following: The Roman army once be- 
sieged the town of Lydda, and insisted upon the de- 
livering up of a certain Ula bar Koseheb, threatening 
the defenders with the destruction of the place and 
the massacre of its inhabitants in case of further 
refusal. R. Joshua ben Levi then exerted his in- 
fluence with Ula, that he would voluntarily deliver 
himself to the Romans so that the place might be 
saved. ThereujX)n, the prophet Elijah, who often 
had communion with R. Joshua ben Levi, stopped his 
visits. After a great deal of penance, which the 
Rabbi imposed upon himself, Elijah came back and 
said, '^\m I expected to reveal myself to informers?" 
W^hereujKDn the Rabbi asked, "Have I not acted in 
accordance with the strict letter of the law?" " But," 
retorted Klijah, " this is not the law of the saints."' 

1 Bada Meziahy 83 a. Sec also Rabbinowicz, Variae LecHonts^ aJL 
^Scc /^r. Terumothy 46 b. Cf. Schechter, Stttdus in Judaiswn^ 

Second Series, pp. 116 ieq. and 166 seq. 



LAW OF HOUNESS AND LAW OF GOODNESS ai? 

The crowning reward of Kedushah, or rather Chasi- 
duthy isy as already indicated, communion with the 
Holy Spirit, "Chasiduth leading to the Holy Spirit," 
or, as it is expressed in another place, "Holiness means 
nothing else than prophecy." * This superior holiness, 
which implies absolute purity both in action and 
thought, and utter withdrawal from things earthly, 
begins, as a later mystic rightly points out, with a 
human effort on the part of man to reach it, and finishes 
with a gift from heaven bestowed upon man by an act 
of grace.* The Talmud expresses the same thought 
when we read, "If man sanctifies himself a little, they 
(in heaven) sanctify him much ; if man sanctifies him- 
self below (on earth), they bestow upon him (more) 
holiness from above." * " Everj^hing is in need of 
help (from heaven)."* Even the Torah, which is 
called pure and holy, has only this sanctifying effect, 
when man has divested himself from every thought 
of pride, when he has purified himself from any con- 
sideration of gold and silver, when he is indeed quite 
pure from sin." * Only Torah with holiness can bring 
about communion with God. Thus nms a prayer, or 
rather prophecy, by an ancient Rabbi: "Learn with 



Midrash in Ms. Cf. also Monatsschrifit vol. 50, beginning of p. 410, 
given from the Sifre Zuta, 

t onttT n'roo, 36 a, n:nb ^t^o^ mbnnm inbnn ♦ ♦ ♦ mn-pn r». 

* 71 B. Yoma^ 39 a. 

* Midrash to Ps. 20. Cf. Tan. D^np, 9. 

* See Michilta ofR. Simon, 98. Cf. above, p. 160. 



2i8 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 



all thy heart and ail thy soul to know my ways, and to 
watch the gates of my Torah. Preserve my Torah in 
thy heart, and may my fear be present before thy eyes. 
Guard thy mouth against all sin, and make thyself 
holy against all sin and injustice, and I will be with 
thee." * Hence the prayer which so often occurs in 
the Jewish liturg}', "Sanctify us by thy command- 
ments," for any thought of pride or any worldly con- 
sideration is liable to undo the sanctifying eflfect of 
the performance of any dinne law. 



^ T. B. Berachoth^ IT a. See also Rabbinowicz, Variiu 
the passage. 



,to 



XIV 



SIN AS REBELLION 



The teaching of the Rabbis with regard to the 
doctrines of sin, repentance, and forgiveness is in har- 
mony with their conception of man's duty towards the 
Law. This duty, as we have seen, is a result of the 
doctrine of God's Kingship.* As a consequence, sin 
and disobedience are conceived as defiance and rebel- 
lion. The root 5WB, used in the confession of the 
High Priest on the Day of Atonement, denoting, accord- 
ing to the Rabbis, the highest degree of sin, is ex- 
plained by them to mean rebellion, illustrating it by 
parallel passages in 2 Kings 1 1, 3 4 and 1? The gen- 
eration of Enosh, the generation of the deluge, and the 
generation which built the Tower of Babylon are 
described as rebels who transferred the worship of (Jod 
to idols or to man and thus profaned the Holy Name.* 
The same remark is also made of Nimrod, who made 
man rebel against God, and of the people of Sodom 
and Gomorrah. These latter, and the generation of 
Enosh and the generation of the deluge, as well as 
the people of Egypt, are further described as those 

^ See aboTe, p. 1 16. Cf. also Pseudo-Jonathan^ Exod. 54 7, Ler. 16 n, 
and Nun. 14 is. 

* T, K., 80 d. Cf. Lev. 16 m and 21. 

* See 71 JC^ iii b. Gen. H,, 237 and 264. 

219 



220 SO.\fE ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

who caused pains to the Holy One, blessed be he, and 
spited him by their wicked deeds/ As men spiting 
God, reference is also made to certain kings of Judah, 
as Ahaz, Amon, and Jehoiakim.' In the Halachic 
literature we meet also with the spite apostate, or the 
a{X)state out of spite, D^SDH^ *1010, who conunits 
sin, not for the sake of satisfying his appetite, but with 
the purpose of showing his rebellious spirit." 

Closely connected with rebellion is the porek ol 
(7lS P"T^S), that is, he who throws oflF the yoke of the 
Omnipresent, or of heaven.* The term porek ol is 
differently explained by various Rabbis, meaning 
according to some, the worshipper of idols,' according 
to others, the man who treats the Torah as antiquated 
matter and declares its laws as abrogated.* The 
throwing off of the yoke is classed together with the 
removing of the Covenant made by God with Israel 
on Mount Sinai, ^ and the uncovering of faces,* that is, 

^ G^n. R.f 272. Cf. also Sifre, 136a; MeckiUa^ 35 h mnd 3611; 
and Num. R.^ 9 24. * Sanktdrin, 103 K 

* See Horayoth^ 1 1 a. See also Rabb. Dictionaries. 

* See Sifrfy 93 a^ and Sanhedritiy \\\b, 

^ See Sifre^ 31 ^, with references to Num. 15 ss. 

* See Jer. Peah^ 1 6 b^ and Jer. Sanhedrin^ 27 c, Cf. Friedmann's 
essay in the Beth Talmud^ i 8S1-9A4. 

'See Jer. Peak and Sanhedrin as above ; Sifre^ 31 ^ and 33 «. 
According to others, by this Covenant is meant the Covenant of Abm- 
ham : see Sifre^ 31 ^, § iii (to Num. 15 2a), and the commentary of 
R. Hillel, (juoted by Friedmann in his Notes (Note 3). Cf. also in 
Friedmann, Beth Talmud^ i, p. 334. 

* See Sifre, ibid, (to Num. 15 si). Cf. Afishnak Ahoik, 3 u, and 
A. R, N,, I 41 b, text and Note 16 for other paralleb. The belt Mss. 



SIN AS REBELUON 221 

the treatment of the words of the Torah irreverently or 
ridiculing them, as Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, did, 
when he preached "scandalous homilies, asking 'Could 
not Moses have written other things than, " And Reuben 
went in the days of the wheat-harvest," etc. (Gen. 30 u), 
or "And Lotan's sister was Timna" (Gen. 36 22)'?".* 
To both these classes, according to some Rabbis, the 
words of the Scriptures refer : " But the soul that does 
aught presumptuously . . ." or "who hath despised 
the word of the Lord and has broken His Com- 
mandments" (Num. 15 30 and 81).' 

hare not the words TCHtO wyO, Cf. Bacher, Ag. Tan,, 1 107; Termi" 
nckgUt 1 149. See also his Die Bibelexegese Maes MaimonideSf p. 16, 
note 4. Cf. also P, R, £,, ch. 44, where this explanation of uncovering 
the &ces is used of men in the sense of putting them to shame. 

^ This is the explanation of the Si/re, 33 a (to Num. 15 ao) ; cf. /er. 
Peak and SanAedrin, ibid. Certain Rabbis of a later date think that 
the uncoverer of faces is he who denies revelation (cf. Sanhedrin, 99 a) 
or " he who transgresses the word of the Torah in public, as the king 
Jehoiakim the king of Judah and his associates," while in the Bab, 
SanAedrin, 99 b, the phrase is explained to mean he who despises the 
scholars. Cf. Friedmann, ibid,^ pp. 334 and 335. 

* Sifre, ibid. Cf. SanAedrin, 99 b. See also Guttmann, Monat^ 
ichrifi, 42, p. 337 se^. He tries to justify the reading ro^ns KW, 
explaining it to mean the allegoric interpretation of Scriptures, in 
opposition to its literal meaning (especially the legal portions), with 
the intention of abolishing the law. Dr. Guttmann's explanation re- 
ceives support from the fact that the interpretations of the Rabbis in 
the Si/re in the quoted places are undoubtedly strongly polemical, as 
may be seen from the following passage, forming a comment on Num. 
15 S2 and ss : *< Where is it to be inferred from that he who believes 
in the worship of idok is as much as if he denied the Ten Words (the 
Decalogue) ? . . . Where is it further to be inferred from that it is as 
much as if he would deny all that was commanded to Moses, . . . that 



222 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

Another expression suggesting rebellion is "stretch- 
ing the hand into the root." By this is chiefly meant 
blasphemy and other sins punishable by stoning.^ 
Blasphemers are sometimes classified together with 
those who commit sins in secrecy, and act insolently in 
public, and those who are men of strife. They will 
end as Korah and his congregation.' 

The transgressions of which the most prominent of the 
rebels (especially the generations of the deluge, and 
the people of Sodom and Gomorrah) were guilty are 
the three cardinal sins' causing contamination and defile- 
ment * which the Jew is bound to undergo mart}nrdom 
for rather than commit.* These three things are: — 

Idolatry. — *'He who worships idols is called 
* desolation, abomination, hateful, unclean, and iniqui- 

was commanded to the Prophets, . . • that was commanded to the 
Patriarchs? . . . Thus, the Scripture teaches that he who believes in 
the worship of idols is as much as if he would deny the Ten Words, 
the commandments that Moses was commanded, the commandments 
that the Prophets were commanded, the commandments that the Patri- 
archs were commanded ; and he who denies the worship of idob a as 
much as if he would confess the whole of the Torah.** 

^ See Jer. SanheJrin^ 23 c, 

a See A, K. iV., 2 86; D. E,, ch. 2, and 5. E^ p. 77. It will be 
seen from these parallel passages that the reading is doubtful. 
Interesting is it that in the S. E. and D, E, R^ the various groups of 
heavy sinners include both the heretic, the sectarian, and the apos- 
tate, as well as those who comer wheat, who lend on usuiy, and 
who gamble. Cf. above, p. 113. 

' See Gffi. R.f 28 8 and 9; 31 «; 32 41; 41 87. d A, R.N, Jjb b «f.« 
and Sanhfdrirty 107 ^ and 109 a. 

* See T. A'., Si c, and Num, R., 7, § 10. 

^ See Sanhedriftt 74 a. Cf. Graetz's GesckuJUt d, /udm^ 3, pp. 
156 and 431, 



SIN AS REBELLION 223 

tous, and causes five things : the contamination of the 
land, the profanation of the name of God, the removal 
of the Shechinah, the delivering of Israel to the sword, 
and the banishment of them from their land.'" * But 
the three cardinal sins have their appurtenances, of 
which a few will be given here. Thus, pride is another 
form of idolatry, and has the same grave results. 
•* Moses was considered worthy to draw near the thick 
darkness (Exod. 20 21), because of his humility, as it is 
said, *The man Moses was very humble' (Num. 12 3). 
The Scriptures teach that he who is humble will as a 
result make the Shechinah dwell with man on earth, 
as it is said, 'For thus said the high and lofty One 
that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy, '* I dwell 
in the high and holy place with him also that is of a 
contrite heart and humble spirit" ' " ' (Isa. 57 1&). " But 
he who has a proud heart will bring defilement to the 
land and cause to remove the Shechinah, to remove as 
it is said, *He who has a proud heart and high looks, 
with him I cannot be together' (Ps. loi 5).* Again, he 
who is proud of heart is called abomination (Pro v. 16 5) 
as the idol is called abomination (Deut. 7 26), but as 
idolatry causes the defilement of the land and the re- 
moval of the Shechinah, so does he who is proud of 
heart " cause the same things.* It is only by forget- 

1 Sec Si/re, 104 a, text and Note 7. n:^3V p6^D=D^3fi Tiai. 
Ct Onkelos, Dent. 31 : 18. 

* In the text are given also citations from Isa. 61 1 ; 66 a ; Pi. 51 19. 

* The Rabbis interpreted it as if they read ^DK, " with him," instead 
of Inlt. See ArachtHt 15^. ^ MechiUa, 72 a. 



224 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

ting God that man's heart can be lifted up by conceit 
(Deut. 8 14)/ There is no room for the Divine beside 
him, the Holy One saying, "He and I cannot dwell in 
the same place." ' Something similar is said of the 
man who is wroth. The very Shechinah is not re- 
spected by a man in a violent temper.* Indeed, he 
sets up the strange god which is in himself which he 
worships.* 

Adultery, — ** All forbidden sexual relations are called 
contamination . . . (Tumuh). If you pollute yourself 
by them (God says) you are hewn oflF (or cut oflF) from 
me; what joy have I in you? you have incurred 
the penalty of extermination.* As the idolater, the 
adulterer (or even the one who does any action 
which may lead to adulter)') is also called desolation, 
abomination, hateful, unclean, and iniquitous.* Again, 
before they sinned, the Shechinah was dwelling with 
every one of Israel, as it is said, "The Lord, thy God 
walkelh in the midst of thy camp" (Deut. 231a), but 
after ihcy sinned (abandoning themselves to immorality), 
the Shechinah was removed, as it is said, "that he see 
no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from this" 
(Deut. ibid,),'' The sin of adultery further involves the 
sin of heresy, or that of denying God's knowledge of the 
secret actions of man. Thus, with reference to Job 24 15, 

1 See So/ai, 4 ^. * SkaMaik, 105 A. 

2 So/ah, 5 a. Cf. also Berachoth, 43 a, • T, A'., 86 d, 
• Xedarim, 22 b. • Sifre^ II5 h, 

7 See Sotahy 3 ^ ; cf. Sifre^ \2ob and 121 a; A, R, N^ I, 58 a. 



SIN AS REBELUON 225 

the Rabbis paraphrase it in the following way: "The 
eye also of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, say- 
ing, No Eye (that is, the Eye of the Above) shall see 
me." * For so the adulterer says, no creature knows 
it. But the eyes of the Holy One, blessed be he, run 
to and fro through the world. . . . Grave is (the case 
of) the adulterer, and that of the thief, both causing 
the removal of the Shechinah. ... Is not the Holy 
One, blessed be he, everywhere? Can any one hide 
himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith 
the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? saith the 
Lord (Jer. 2324). But the adulterer acts in such a 
way (as if) he said to God, " Remove thyself for a short 
while, and make room for me." ' But adultery in- 
cludes every unchaste action or imchaste thought, 
the Biblical prohibitions extending to all kinds of 
unchastity, whether in action or in thought." 
Heresy is also considered an imclean thought and 
comes also under the heading of the commandment, 
"Then keep thee from every wicked thing" (Deut. 
23 10).* The Olah (bumt-oflfering), though belong- 
ing to the voluntary oflferings, is declared to have 

^ See Num, JP., 9, i. 

* Tan, B,f 4 14 ^, u a, Cf. 2^ch. 4 10. Cf. also Tan, 3,, iHd.^ 
13 ^ and 14 tf, and Num, /?., 9 u ; where it is maintained that adultery 
means a breach of all the Ten G)mmandment8. The breach with the 
first conunandment is proved horn Jeremiah 5 la. 

* For references, see above, p. 214, note I, to which are to be added 
Sifire, 35 a\ Berachoth, 12 b, Cf. Maimonides, I'D n'6&, t^riD. 

* See Sifre, 120 b, and Abodah Zarah^ 20 b, 

Q 



226 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

the function of atoning for the (sinful) meditations 
of the heart, as it is even said of Job: "And (Job) 
offered burnt -offerings, according to the number of 
them all : for Job said, It may be that my sons have 
sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did 
Job continually" (Job i 5).* The uttering of obscene 
words brings distress and death into the world.' In 
fact, he who uses foul language is included among these 
wicked, of whom it is said, " Behold the day cometh, 
that shall burn as an oven, and . . . shall bum them 
up" (Mai. 3 19), whilst he who indulges in impure 
thought is not admitted into the presence of God.* 

Shedding of Blood also has the effect of contaminat- 
ing the land and remonng the Shechinah, besides that 
of leading to the destruction of Israel's sanctuary.* 
He who commits murder acts like one who overturns 
the statue of the king, destroys his image, and muti- 
lates his impress (on the coins). "For in the image of 
God made he man" (Gen. 96).* "But he who trans- 
gresses a light commandment will end in violating the 
more heavy one. If he neglected (the injunction of) 
*Thou shah love thy neighbour as thyself' (Lev. 19 18), 
he will soon transgress the commandment of *Thou 

1 See Tan. /?., 3 » /i. See below, p. 300, note 2. 

2 See Shdbbathy 33 a, 

3 See NidJah, 13 b, Cf. English venion, MaL 4 1. Cf. abore, pp. 
207 and 214. 

^ T. A'., 62 a ; cf. Shabbatk, 33 «. 

^ See Mechilta^ 70 b, Cf. Miihnah Sankedrin^ 4 ft, and Ex9d, R^ 
30 i«. 



SIN AS REBELUON 227 

shall not hate thy brother in thine heart' {ibid.y v. 17), 
and that of *Thou shait not avenge or bear grudge 
against the children of thy people' {ibid.^ v. is), which, 
terminating in acting against 'And thy brother shall 
live with thee' {ibid.j 25 ae), will lead to the shedding 
of blood." * In fact, "wanton hatred" is as great a 
sin as idolatry, adultery, and shedding of blood, all 
combined.' Likewise the sin of slander and back- 
biting is even worse than the three cardinal sins," for 
man would never make these utterances unless he 
"denied the root"* (the existence of God), and they 
have the effect of removing the Shechinah from the 
world.* 

Again, he who robs his neighbour, even if the goods 
robbed do not amount to more than the value of a 
Perutah, is as much as if he murdered him.* Some 
Rabbis maintain the sin of the generation of the 
deluge to have consisted in robbery (^tJ), that is, 
the appropriation of wealth by violence and other 
unlawful means. "Behold," says Rabbi Jochanan, 
"how terrible are the effects of robbery, for, though 
the generation of the deluge transgressed everj^hing, 
their verdict (of extermination) was not sealed till they 
stretched forth their hands to acquire wealth by im- 

1 Sec 7: K,, 108 b ; cf. D. E,, ch. ii. « Yoma^ 9 b, 

^ M, 7*., 52 3. Cf. also ibid.^ 39 1, and AracAin, 15 ^. 

*/er. Peah^ 16 a, Cf. M, T., 52 a. 

•/fr. Peak, ibid,, and P, AT., 31 b, and M, 2"., 7 7. 

* Baba Kama, 1 19 a, Cf. Ltv, R^ 22 u. 



SacrifKcs brouirht by ih 
from th«; .^in of robhc ry a 
wish to bring an oflcring. 
the Lord, love judgement, 
ofifering' (Isa. 6i 8). I sha 
wilt have cleansed thv ham 
thing similar is said of cha 
committed an immoral actic 
money, but he hardly left th 
met him and addressed h. 
thinks that God put this p 
the purpose of making him 
alms he gave, but the Holy ( 
Wicked man, think not so. 
alms will not cleanse the oth 
did by paying the wages of s 
of the man whose hands arc 
not answered, for his supp 
under transgression. Then 

1 cw-*--' • 



SIN AS REBELLION 329 

cleanse his heart (from every covetousness) before he 
prays, as it is said, " No robbery in mine hands, and 
my prayer is clean" (pure) (Job 16 17)/ 

The wrong administration of justice may also be 
classified under this heading: The Holy One, blessed 
be he, does not cause his divine presence to rest upon 
Israel, until the false judges and bad officers shall 
have disappeared from their midst.* "When three 
establish a court, the Shechinah is with them," ■ and 
God says to the judges, " Think not that you are alone, 
I am sitting with you,"* but when they are about to 
corrupt judgement, that is, to give a false verdict, God 
removes his Shechinah from among them, as it is 
said, "For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing 
of the needy (caused by injustice), now I will rise 
(to leave the Court), saith the Lord." * The same 
thought is expressed elsewhere as follows: "When the 
judge sitteth and delivereth just judgement, the Holy 
One, blessed be he, leaves — if it were possible to say 
so — the heaven of heavens and makes his Shechinah 
dwell on his side, as it is said, ' And when the Lord was 
with the judge' (Judg. 2 is), but when he sees that the 
judge is a respecter of persons, he removes his Shechi- 
nah, and returns to heaven. And the angels say unto 
him, 'Master of the world, what hast thou done?' 
(what is the reason for this removal), and he answers, 
* I have found that the judge is a respecter of persons, 

^ See Gen. Ji^ 22 s. * See SAoMalk, 139 a, 

• See Birachoth, 6 a. * Af. r., 82 L * Af . T., 12 a. 



230 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

and I rose from there.' " * For, the respecters of 
persons are men "who have thrown oflF the yoke of 
heaven and loaded themselves with the yoke of men." * 
But it is written, '' Ye shall do no imrighteousness in 
judgement, in meteyard," etc. (Lev. 19 as), which 
leaches ''that he who is occupied in measuring, weigh- 
ing, performs the function of judge, but if he gave false 
measure, he is called iniquitous, etc., . . . and causes 
the Shechinah to be removed from the earth." ■ Israd, 
indeed, was brought out of the land of Egypt, on the 
condition that they accept the fulfilment of the com- 
mandment relating to just measure, and he who denies 
this commandment "denies also the exodus from 
Eg\pt" (that is, God's special relation to Israd in 
histor}-).* 

Something similar is remarked of usury. The 
Rabbinic interpretation is in reference to the com- 
mandment: "Thou shalt not give him thy money 
upon usury, nor lend him thy \ictuals for increase. I 
am the Lord your God which brought you out of the 
land of Eg)'pt " (Lev. 25 37-38). Whereupon, the Rabbis 
from the proximity of the two verses infer, "That he 
who receives upon himself the yoke of the command- 
ment of usury receives upon himself the yoke of heaven, 
and he who removes the yoke of the commandment of 
usur}' removes from himself the yoke of heaven." And 
they then proceed to conmient on the latter verse: 

1 See £xo(/. R., 30 m. • T, K^ 91 a. 

a Sotah, 47 b. * T, K^ aid. 



SIN AS REBELUON 231 

"Upon that condition I brought you forth out of the 
land of Eg)rpt *that you will receive upon yourselves the 
commandment regarding usury.' Because he who con- 
fesses this commandment acknowledges the fact of the 
exodus from Egypt, and he who denies it denies also 
the fact of the exodus from Egypt." * It is evident 
from this interpretation of the Scriptures that the 
Rabbis thought that each Mizwah, that is, the fulfil- 
ment of a commandment, had also a certain doctrinal 
value, bearing evidence to God's relation to man in 
general and his historic relation to Israel in par- 
ticular. 

The act of lending upon usury, which is also said 
to weigh as heavily as murder,* was, as it seems, con- 
sidered as containing also an ironic implication directed 
by the man of affairs against the man of religion. He 
thereby declares Moses untrue and his Law false, 
saying, "If Moses would have known that there was 
so much profit in it, he would never have written it." ■ 
Hence to witness a bill in which interest of money is 
promised, is as much as to give evidence that the lender 
has denied the God of Israel.* It is probably for the 
same reason that the Rabbis say in another place, 
" Be careful not to be unmerciful, because he who keeps 
back his compassion from his neighbour is to be com- 
pared to the idolater and to the one who throws off the 

* T. K,, 109 c. Cf. Exod^ 20 a. 

* See Baba Afetia, dob, * See Baba Metia, 75 b» 
^ Baba Mnia^ 71 a. See also Rashi to that panage. 



232 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

yoke of heaven from himself," * since he could not 
act cruelly without considering the laws commending 
charity and charitableness impracticable, and devoid 
of all divine authority. Indeed, the notion is that 
no man betrays the confidence put in him by his 
neighbour until he has first denied the root (God); 
that no man engages in sin until he has first denied 
him who forbade it.' 

The three cardinal sins, as well as blasphemy and 
slander, are called the exil things.* An impure thought 
is also described as evil.* All of these cause separation 
between man and God (as it is said), "Neither shall 
the evil dwell with thee'' (Ps. 55). The scoflFers, the 
liars, the hypocrites, are also excluded from the Divine 
Presence.* Ever\' deed, again, implying a certain dis- 
respect for those who deserve to be honoured on the 
ground of their being the teachers of Israel, as well as 
the showing impatience with the performance of re- 
ligious actions, have the effect of the divine presence 
being removed from Israel.* This punishment of 
separation, as it would seem, is extended to sin in 
general. " Blessed be the man," says a Jewish teacher, 
"who is free from transgression, and possesses no sin 
or fault, but is devoted to good actions, to the study 
of the Torah, is low of knee (meek) and humble. 

1 St/rr, 98 />. 2 See Tosephta SkebMcth^ 4 M. Cf. T.JC^Vfd, 

* Sifre, \2ob. * See Niddah^ 13 K 

^ Safihedrin^ 103 a. See also above, p. 33 stq. 

• Berachoth^ 17 b and 5 b. 



\ 



SIN AS REBELLION 233 

The Holy One, blessed be he, says this is the man who 
dwells in heaven with him" (Isa. 57 i^). The wise 
man said, "Thy deeds will bring thee near, and thy 
deeds will remove thee." How is this ? If a man per- 
formed ugly deeds and unworthy actions, his deeds 
removed him from the Shechinah, as it is said, "But 
your iniquities have separated between you and your 
God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he 
will not hear" (Isa. 59 2).* 

From the preceding remarks it is clear that sin is 
conceived as an act of rebellion, denying the root, 
that is the existence of God, or his providence, or his 
authority, indeed, excluding him from the world. This 
extends also, as we have seen, to a sinful thought, in 
fact from the moment that a man thinks of sin it is as 
much as if he would commit treason against God.* It 
is also described as contamination and contaminating. 
The favourite expression for sin of the Seder Elijah is 
" ugly things and ugly ways." * This term is occasionally 
vised also by older Rabbis. " Remove thyself," said " the 
wise men," in speaking of sin, "from ugliness and 
from that which is like ugliness." * Another similar 
expression is "dirt." Thus, Abraham is commanded 
to leave the land of his birth which is "dirtied" by 
idolatry.* The man, again, whose hands are "dirtied" 

^ S, E^ p. 104. See above, p. 33. 

* Sifre Zuta, as communicated by Num, R, 8 6. Cf. also Yalkut 
to Pint § 701. * See Friedmann's Introduction, ch. 10 (p. 105). 

* ChuUin, 44 3; A, H, N., 5^1, text and note 22. 

* MHG^ p. 201. See also Aruch CompUtum^ s.t. *]3D. 



234 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

by robbery is bidden not to pray, or is warned that his 
prayers will be of no avail.^ In another passage, the 
Rabbis speak of the eflFect of the Day of Atonement, 
which is to purify Israel who are "dirty" by sin, through- 
out the whole year.' The verse in Proverbs, "As a 
jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman 
which is without discretion" (ii 22) is illustrated by the 
Rabbis, " If thou puttest a vessel of gold into the nose of 
a swine, he will * dirty' it with mire and refuse;" so 
is the student of the Torah if he abandon himself to 
immorality, he makes his Torah "dirty."* More 
frequent, we have the term of putrefaction and offensive 
smell, in connection with sin. The sin of the golden 
calf is described as a putrefaction. Song of Songs 1 1% 
is paraphrased in the Targum as follows: "And whilst 
their master Moses was still in heaven to receive the 
two tablets of stone, and the Torah, and the Command- 
ments, there arose the wicked men of that generation 
and made a calf of gold. . . . And their deeds became 
putrefied, and their evil fame spread in the world."* 
The expression seems especially connected with rebellion 
and disobedience. Thus, the parable of a later Rabbi 
who began a sermon with the words, "And it came to 
pass, when the flock gave an offensive smell and obeyed 
not the words of its master, they hated the shep- 

^ Exod. i?., 22 8. 

3 See J/. T.t 1 5 6. The right reading is from Yalkut MadUri^ 42 k 
See aho Tan. rhzz, 28. 

> Yalkut to Prov., §14. « Targum^ Song of Song^ I is. 



SIN AS REBELUON 235 

herds and the good leaders, and went away far from 
them." ^ 

Sm is thus a symptom of corruption and decay in the 
spiritual condition of man. He who committed a 
transgression is as one who was defiled by touching the 
cx)rpse of a dead man.* The thoroughly wicked man 
is therefore even in life considered as dead.' Nay, the 
sin becomes also a part of himself and clings to him 
and appears with him together on the Day of Judge- 
ment.^ The presence of the man of sin has, so to speak, 
a sickening and offensive effect upon everything pure 
and holy, so that he has to be removed from its neigh- 
bourhood. With reference to the scriptural words, 
"Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my 
judgements, and do them : that the land, whither I bring 
you to dwell therein, spew you not out" (Lev. 20 22), 
the Rabbis remark, "The land of Israel (by reason of 
its holiness) is not as the rest of the world. It cannot 
tolerate men of transgression. It is to be compared 
to the son of a King, whom they made to eat food 
that was coarse (that is, indigestible), which he is com- 
pelled (by reason of his delicate constitution) to vomit 
out." • The voice of God, which gave Adam delight and 
enjoyment, became a terror to him," whilst he lost also 
his power over the lower creation which before his 

* P, R,t i2Si, Cf. also Aruch Completum^ t.v. mO. 
« M, T,t 51 2. * Sotah, 3 b, 

» Berachoth, 18 a and K * T. K., 93 a, 

* P. K,f 44 b, and P, P^6Sb; see notes for parallels. 



236 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

sin stood in awe and fear of him. His very stature 
was diminished, and instead of longing after, he 
feared the nearness of the Divine Presence.* His face, 
originally bearing the image of God, became disfigured 
and hateful.' Before Israel ^nned (by worshipping the 
golden calf) their eyes saw the glory of God which was 
surrounded by (seven) walls of fire, and they feared 
not, as it is said, "And the sight of the glory of the 
Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the Mount 
in the eyes of the children of Israel" (Elxod. 2417); 
but after they sinned they could not even bear to look 
at the face of the middleman (Moses), as it is said, 
**And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw 
Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they 
were afraid to come nigh him" (Exod. 34 30).* 

As in the Bible, sin is described in Rabbinic litera- 
ture also as folly. The Rabbinic expression VBD, fool, 
like the Biblical term TDD, has the original meaning of 
bcini^ fleshy and fat. They who know not God are 
D^rSD, *' fools.'' * By the act of sinning, man becomes 
a fool,^ whilst the neglect of the Torah was the cause of 
Israel's becoming stupid and fools.* But more frequent 
is the expression of D^W, fools, or WtDV, folly. Thus, 
we read, **he whose heart is arrogant in decision is a 
fool (HDIU), a wicked man and puflFed up in spirit." * 

» p. A", and P. P., ibiJ. See also EccUs, ^., 8 L 

'^ P. A'., 37 t/ ; P. P., 62 a ; and Gen, ^., ii s. 

» P. K. and P. P., ibid. « See Agadatk Skir Hatkirim^ p. 9a 

' See Targum to 1 Kings 8 47. 

^Sifre,\i2b. ^AMk,41U 



SIN AS REBELUON 237 

Again, a discussion as to God's suffering the sin of 
idolatry, considering that he could easily destroy the 
objects of the heathen's worship, the Rabbis answered, 
"Shall God cause his world to perish because of the 
fools (BIDW), who worship also the sun and the 
moon ? " * The sin of idolatry is also described as folly. 
The word BtttTin Num. 25 1 is held to indicate that Israel 
abandoned themselves there to folly (fVltOW).* But it 
must be remarked that the word HBW, or flllDW, im- 
plies also madness. " No man," the Rabbis say, "would 
ever commit a sin but for the fact that there came unto 
him a spirit of flTBtP," ■ whilst in another place we 
read that no man abandons himself to immorality if 
he were in his right sense.* Similarly, it is said of the 
suspected woman, that her fall could only be explained 
as the effect of madness." 

The effects of sin extend even further. It has, 
apparently, a blighting influence upon the world, under 
which even the righteous suffer. The light which the 
Holy One, blessed be he, created on the first day was 
such that a man could see from one end of the world 
to the other, but it was concealed because of the sin 
of Adam; according to others, because of the future 
corrupt actions of the men of the deluge and of the men 
of the Tower of Babel.* Moses, who before Israel 

^ Aboaah Zarah^ 54 ^. * Sotah^ 3 a, 

* Bechorolh^ 5 b ; Num, Jf.,2on, * Num. ^., 9 «. 

* Num. R^t ibid., reading in Num. 5 la nSV^M instead of rittt^M, "ihe 
went mad." * dn. JR^ 11 %, and P, R., 107 a. 



238 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

sinned could not be approax:hed even by the archangels 
Michael and Gabriel, is after that in fear of the angels 
of destruction, Anger and Wrath.* Hillel and Samuel 
Hakaton were both worthy that the divine presence 
should rest upon them, but they were deprived of this 
gift because of the unworthiness of the generations in 
which they lived.* In another passage we read that it 
is sin which made Israel deaf so that they could not 
hear the words of the Torah, and blind so that they 
could not see the glory* of the Shechinah.* The exodus 
from Babel (in the time of Ezra) was of such importance 
that such miracles could have been performed for it as 
at the exodus from Eg}*pt, but sin made such a mani- 
festation of the divine power impossible.* 

More emphatically this doctrine is taught in the 
following words: **He who committed one sin, woe 
is unto him, for he inclined the balance both with re- 
gard 10 himself and with regard to the whole world 
toward the side of guilt," as it is said, "But one 
sinner destroys much good" (Eccles. 9 18). Thus 
by a single sin which man committed he deprived 
himself and the world from much good.' But the 
n^o^st bitter result of sin is that they (the sinners) are, 
as the Rabbis express it, "weakening the Power of 
the Above''; that is, that they prevent the channebof 

1 p. A'., 45 a and 45 3 ; P. R.^ 6ga, ■ 4f. Ber^ ch. 69. 

2 Sor j/i, 48 d. * BeriuAoik^ 4 a, 

^ Tozephta A'iJJuihin, I ; Cf. also EccUs, R^ lo L. See alio above, 

p. 191. 



SIN AS REBELUON 239 

grace to flow so freely and fully as intended by the 
Merciful Father. "As often," says God, "I desired 
to do good unto you, you weaken the power from 
above by your sins. . . . You stood at Mount Sinai 
and said, 'all that the Lord hath said we will do and be 
obedient' (Exod. 247), and I desired to do you good, but 
you altered your conduct and said to the golden calf, 
'These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee 
out of the land of Egypt' (Exod. 32 8), and thus weak- 
ened the Power." ^ In another place, the same thought 
is expressed m somewhat different language. When 
Israel accomplishes the will of God, they add Power to 
Might (imHU), as it is said, "And now let the power 
of the Lord increase" (Num. 14 n). According to 
another Rabbi, this is to be inferred from Ps. 60 u, 
which he translates, "/n God we shall make our 
power." * If they act against the will of God (one 
might almost apply to them), "And they are gone 
without Power" (Lam. i e). 

It is in harmony with this conception that the Rabbis 
exclaim. Woe imto the wicked who turn the attribute 
of mercy into that of strict judgement ! for everywhere 
the Tetragranmiaton is used it implies the attribute of 
mercy (as we can learn from Exod. 34 6, "The Lord, 
the Lord God, merciful and gracious"); but the same 
name of God is used in connection with the destruction 
of the men of the generation of the deluge, where we 

1 Si/re, 136 ^ and 137 a, 

* F. K,^ 166 b. See also above, p. 34. 



240 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

read, "And God saw the wickedness of man was great 
in the earth" (Gen. 65).* In another place we read, 
"This is what Isaiah said, *A sinful nation . . . they 
have forsaken the Lord' (Isa. i 4), they have made me 
forsake myself; I am called the 'merciful and gra- 
cious/ but through your sins I have been made cruel 
and I have converted my attribute (of mercy) into 
that of strict judgement ; as it is said, * The Lord was an 
enemy' (Lam. 2 5); and so he says also in another 
place, *But they rebelled and vexed his Holy Spirit; 
therefore he was turned to be their enemy'" (Is. 63 10).' 

It is further to be remarked that this abhorrence of 
sin is not entirely confined to sins committed wilfully. 
It extends also to sins committed unintentionally, as it 
is said, '' Also that the soul be without knowledge is not 
good, and he who is hasty with his feet sinneth" 
(Prov. 19 2). Again, with reference to Eccles. 12 M, 
*' For God shall bring every work into judgement, with 
every secret thing, whether it be good or it be evil," 
a Rabbi exclaimed in tears, " What hope is there for 
a sla\e whose master reckons unto him the uninten- 
tional sins as the intentional? "' 

They took it as a sign of carelessness, which might have 
more serious consequences. "Men," they say, "need 
not feel distressed on account of an imintentional an, 

1 G^n. R.^ 33 ». 

2 Tan. B„ 3 65 a. Cf. Yalkui Mackiri to Isaimh, p. 7. 

8 Tan. 8., 3 a b, Cf. Chagigak 5 a. The Rabbis interpret the 
word c'^US in Eccles. 1 2 14, that the sin was concealed eyen firom the 

man who committed it. 



SIN AS REBELUON 241 

except for the reason that a door to sin is thus opened 
to them, leading both to more unintentional and even 
intentional sins." * They even expressed their wonder 
that a soul coming from a place of righteousness, free 
from sin and transgression, shall sin through ignorance. 
"The soul," they say, "is the child coming from the 
palace above," knowing all the etiquette of the court, 
therefore sin should be impossible to it, and if it 
does sin even through ignorance, it is also considered 
a transgression.' The same thought takes a deeper 
aspect with the mystics. Thus Nachmanides, in allud- 
ing to Lev. 42, "If a soul shall sin through igno- 
rance," remarks, ** Since thought concerns only the soul, 
and it is the soul which is ignorant, the Scripture men- 
tioned Soul here (in contradistinction to Lev. i 3, 
where it speaks of Man)^ and the reason for bringing 
a sacrifice for the ignorant soul is because all sin leaves 
a taint in her, causing her to have a blemish, and she 
will not be worthy to face the Presence of the Maker, 
but when she is free from all sin." * The later mystics 
dwell on this thought at great length: the soul, they 
say, is an actual part of the divine, as it is said, " For 
the Lord's portion, is his people" (which they interpret 
to mean that his people are a portion of the Lord). 
Every sin, therefore, taints the divine in man, breaking 
all communion with heaven.^ 

1 Tan. ^., ibid. * Tan. ^., 3 4 a and b. 

* Nachmanides, Commentary to the Pentateuch. 

* See Reshith Chochmah^ Section Htn^, 9 and lo. 



THE EVIL YEZ. 

REJ 

Sin being generally < 

the majesty of God, we 

«;"ce or instigator of 

literature this influence i 

H<'ra). This is usually , 

>>"» the term is so obsci 

almost to defy any real de 

The term rVT -ir was 

6 » and iiirf. 8 «, ^.^e^e u 

the predicate n, ^. D, 

^^point. After predicting! 

«ods and worship them, ; 

r ''T"*°'' '''^ ScriptUK 
know his Yezer (TQt. » ..^ 

^aJly which is repre;entec 
and made responsible for L 



EVIL YEZER: SOURCE OP REBELUON 243 

Yezefy^ which the Targum renders, "the EvU Yezer 
that causes to sin." * i Chron. 28 9 and 29 is, in which 
the expression riTawnO ^SP occurs, are generally under- 
stood to mean simply imagination, or desire, whatever 
the nature of this desire may be, good or evil. But it is 
to be remarked that the word 01337 in 28 9 is explained 
by some Rabbis to mean two hearts and two Yezer s : 
the bad heart with the Evil Yezer, the good heart with 
the Goad Yezer? 

The more conspicuous figure of the two Yezers is that 
of the Evil Yezer, the Tin ISP. Indeed, it is not im- 
possible that the expression Good Yezer, as the antithesis 
of the EvU Yezer, is a creation of a later date." 

The names applied to the Evil Yezer are various and 
indicative both of his nature and his function. R« 
Avira, according to others R. Joshua b. Levi, said: 
"The Evil Yezer has seven names. The Holy 
One, blessed be he, called him EvU (Gen. 8 21); 
Moses called him uncircumcised (Deut. 10 16); David 
called him unclean (Ps. 51 12); Solomon called him 
fiend (or enemy) (Prov. 1581); Isaiah called him 
stumbling-block (Isa. 57 i^); Ezekiel called him stone 

^ See, however, English versions to this verse and Baethgen in his 
commentary to the Ps., ibid, 

' See if/. T,t 14 1. Cf. notes for another reading : "These are 
two hearts : the Good Yezer and the Evil Yeter!^ See also below, 
255, note 2, and 257, note 2. 

* See, however, Afishnah Berachoih, 9 6 ; Sifre^ 73 a ; A, R, A^., 
47 a ; Berachoth, 61 3 ; where it is clear that the Tannaim were already 
acquainted with this expression. 



to his old atrc luvl to 
show ohrdicnco;" ihe s 
ing man to fall even at t 
eighty ; ' and the malady, 
god, to obey whom is as 
against whom Scripture 
strange god in thee" ( 
"Neither shalt thou pros 
god" (Ps., ibid.)^ are tak. 
strange god to rule over t 
The activity of the Ei 
R. Simon b. Lakish, who 
the Angel of Death are on« 



1 Sukkak, $2 a. Cf. also the .' 
Ezekiel is cited before Isaiah, thu 
the Prophets given in Bada Bath 
words to " Zcphoni " : rVL TK ^ 
Evil Yeur who is hidden when di 
to the name stone^ see Gen, R.y 89 1, 
is (with allusion to Job 28 s) ide 
and th^ •k-^I'*-- *" ' 



EVIL YEZER: SOURCE OP REBELLION 245 

by the statement of an earlier anonymous Tannaitic 
authority: "He comet h down and leadeth astray ; he 
goeth up and worketh up wrath (accuses) ; he cometh 
down and taketh away the soul." * His r61e as accuser 
is described in another place with the words, " The EvU 
Yezer persuades man (to sin) in this world, and bears 
witness against him in the future world;" * whilst his 
function as Angel of Death is expressed in the words, 
"He accustoms (or entices) man to sin and kills him." * 
Some modification of this thought we may perceive in 
another statement of R. Simon b. Lakish, who says, 
"The Yezer of man assaults him every day, endeavour- 
ing to kill him, and if God would not support him, 
man could not resist him ; as it is said, * The wicked 
watcheth the righteous and seeketh to slay him' 
(Ps. 37 aa)." * 

The identification of the EvU Yezer with the Angel 
of Death is sometimes modified in the sense of the 
former being the cause of death consequent upon sin 
rather than of his performing the office of the execu- 
tioner. This is the impression, at least, one receives 
from such a passage in the Mishnah as the following: 
"The evil eye (envy), the Evil Yezer ^ and the hatred 
of one's fellow-creatures put man out of the world." • 
According to an ancient paraphrase of this passage, the 
r61e of the EvU Yezer who accosts man from the very 
moment of his birth, is of a passive nature, neglecting 

1 Baba Baihra, ibid. * Sukkah^ 52 b, * Exod, JR.^ JO it. 

« S$MaA, 52 b. Cf. also Kiddushin, 30 b. * Aboth, 2 u. 



246 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

to warn him against the dangers following upon the 
committing of such sins as profaning the Sabbath, 
the shedding of blood, and the abandoning of oneself 
to immorality.* A close parallel to the passage quoted 
above, likewise found in the Mishnah, is the following 
saying, in which the same expression is used with 
regard to the consequence of sin. It reads: "Elnvy, 
lust, and conceit put man out of this world,"* 
'*Lust'* here apparently corresponds to Evil Yezer^ 
and as the context shows, can only mean that it is the 
cause of death. In another place, these three evil im- 
pulses are said to have incited the serpent to his in- 
vidious conversation with Eve, resulting in her trans- 
gressing the first commandment given to man and 
finally in death.' The identification in the Zohar of 
Samacl with the Evil Yezer is probably in some way 
connected with the given Rabbinic passages,* since in 
another {)lacc the tempting serpent is said to have been 
Samacl in disguise, originally a holy angel, but who 
through his jealousy of man, determined to bring 
about the latter's fall.* 

The Evil Yezer is also credited with inflicting other 
kinds of punishment upon man besides death, as, for 
instance, in the story of the Men of the Great Assembly 
in their etTort to destroy the Yezer. When, p)erceiving 

^ A. R. A\, 2^^ h. *A6olk,4n. Cf. ^^oM, 3 u. 

" Sec /*. A*, /f., ch. 13. 

* Sec Zohar ^ Gen. 41 a. On page 248, ibid.^ the iEvfV Krt^r is identi- 
ficd with the Angel of Destruction pCTT^JIt. 

* Sec F, R. E., ibid.y and Pseudo'/on.^ Gen. 3 •• 



EVIL YEZER: SOURCE OF REBELLION 247 

the Evil Yezer^ they exclaimed: "Here is the one who 
has destroyed the sanctuary, burned the Temple, mur- 
dered our saints, and driven Israel from their country." * 
But it must be noted that in other places it is sin 
itself that causes death. " See, my children," said the 
saint R. Chaninah b. Dosa to his disciples, ''it is not 
the ferocious ass that kills, it is sin that kills." * Again, 
with allusion to Pro v. 5 22, the Rabbis teach, "As man 
throws out a net whereby he catches the fish of the sea, 
so the sins of man become the means of entangling , 
and catching the sinner." * It must be further noticed 
that both the function of the accuser and witness are 
sometimes ascribed to God himself: "He is God, he 
is the Maker, he is the Discemer, he is the Judge, 
he is the Witness, he is the Complainant." * Again, 
with allusion to Mai. 3 6, an ancient Rabbi re- 
marked, "What chances are there for a slave whose 
master brings him to judgement and is eager to bear 
witness against him?" * In another passage, the func- 
tion of bearing witness is ascribed to the two angels 
accompanying man through life, whilst others think 
that it is the soul of man or his limbs that give evi- 
dence. Nay, the very stones of man's abode and the 
beams in it cry out against man and accuse him, as it 
is said, "For the stones shall cry out of the wall and 
the beam out of the timber shall answer it" (Hab. 2 u).' 

^ Voma, 69 3. * AdolA, 4 so. 

* Berackoth^ 33 a, * Chagigah^ 5 a. Cf. P, K,, 164 b. 

• Mtdrash^ Prov., ch. 5. • Chagigah^ 16 a. 



" ",*■> <»c oi the j 

to the man a.s a morJes 

'ome ^.u^-.t rrx, an 

as the master of the h 

also more as an effemi 

doing harm, but afterw; 

strength.' The snares 

tangles man are at fi 

vain as the thin thread 

the dimensions of the i 

°^n to free himself frc 

treacher)' of the EvU 

of the dogs in the city 

fore a baker's shop and . 

baker in his security alio, 

quickly Jump up, snatch 

away. The EvU Yezer , 

way, feigning weakness a 

ff man is off his guard, 1 

him sin.« 

The man ii.k~ ;. 



EVIL YEZER: SOURCE OP REBELUON 249 

the Evil Yezer is the vain one. " Yezety^ the Rabbis 
say, "does not walk in retired places. He resorts to 
the middle of the highroads. When he sees a man 
dyeing his eyebrows, dressing his hair, lifting his heels, 
he says, 'That is my man!'"* Again, when Simon 
the Just asked a Nazarite of stately api)earance, 
beautiful eyes, and curly hair, "My son, why didst 
thou choose to have thy beautiful hair destroyed?" 
(the Nazarite having, according to Num. 6 is, to have 
his hair shaved when the days of his separation are 
fulfilled), he answered, "I acted as father's shepherd 
in my town. Once, I went to fill the casket from the 
well ; but when I saw the image reflected in the water, 
my Yezer grew upon me and sought to turn me out 
from the world. Then I said to him, 'Thou wicked 
one ! why dost thou pride thyself with a world which 
is not thine; thou, whose destiny is to become worm 
and maggots? I take an oath that I will have thee 
shaved in the service of heaven!'"' It is interesting 
to notice in passing that this instantaneous resistance 
to the EvU Yezer is also recommended in another place. 
"He that spoils his Yezer by tender and considerate 
treatment (that is, allows him slowly to gain dominion 
over himself without rebuking him) will end in becom- 
ing his slave." * 

1 Gen, ^., 22 6. Cf. MHG,, p. 119, reading DD&D& for V&V&&. 
Cf. also Zohar, I 190 (Gen. 39 is), where the vanity of fine clothes is 
added. 

* Sifre, 9 b ; Nedarim, 9 b ; Num. i?., 10 7 and references. Cf. 
also YatiMt 35 b. * Gen. ^., ibid, Ql JRashi to Prov. 29 ai. 



2 so SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

The two great passions which the Yezer plays most 
upon are the passions of idolatry and adultery. The 
latter is called the iTY^SSl ITUT, the passion of sin; just 
as 7Ti3CO in many places means charity, so does tWSS 
in a large number of passages refer to immorality.* The 
passion of idolatry, though once more general and 
more deeply rooted in the nature of man than any other 
passion, is stated, however, to have already disappeared 
from the world through the work of the Men of the 
Great Assembly who prayed for its extinction.' 

Of the two passions, it is pointed out that the passion 
of idolatry was (once) even stronger than that of 
adulter}-; the former having such a power over man 
as to induce him to have his sons and daughters sacri- 
ficed to idols. It knows no shame, performing its 
office both in public and in private, and sparing no 
class of society, enlisting in its service both small and 
great, old and young, men and women." It is worth 
noting that the desire for acquiring wealth is not 
counted by the Rabbis among the grand passions, 
though it is stated in another place that it is the sin of 
dishonesty in money transactions under which the 
great majority of mankind is labouring. It is there 
further remarked that the sin of immorality involves 
only the minority, whilst none escai)e the sin of slander- 

^ See Levy's Rabb. Dictionary, s.v. 

^ See Yoma, 69 b. See also Midrask Canl^ 71. Gt 9}Mi/er» Ah^' 

dah Zarah^ 40 c. 
^ MI/G,,^. 120. 



EVIL YEZER: SOURCE OP REBELLION 



251 



ing, or at least of invidious talk against their neighbours.* 1 
Scepticism is another means by which the Evil Yezer ' 
reaches man. Sometimes he questions the nature of 
the Deity, ascribing to God corporeal qualities, such 
as to be in need of food;' at others, his attacks are 
directed against the Biblical precepts relating to the 
dietary laws, and certain ritual observances known 
imder the name of D''p1H (statutes), the reason for 
which is unknown.' The Yezer is especially anxious 
to show him that the ceremonies and the cult of other 
religions are more beautiful than those of the Jew.* 
Sometimes he even deigns to bring evidence from 
Scripture, as in the case of Abraham. When Abra- 
ham was on his way to Mount Moriah to sacrifice his 
son Isaac, Satan met him and said, " Old man, where 
art thou going?" He answered, "I am going to fulfil 
the will of my Father in Heaven." Then Satan said 
imto him, "What did he tell thee?" Abraham an- 
swered, "To bring my son to him as a burnt -offering." 
Thereupon Satan said, "That an old man like thee 
should make such a mistake ! His attention was only 
to lead thee astray and to tire thee! Behold, it is 
written, 'Whoso sheds man's blood, by man his blood 
shall be shed' (Gen. 96). Thou art the man who 
bringest mankind under the wings of the Shechinah. 

^ Bada Baihra^ 165 a, 

' See Tan, B,^ 4 48 b. See also below, p. 298. 

• See T, K.t 86 a. See also P, R,, 64 a, text and notes. 

* 7*. K,t ibiiLf yho^ D^IC Dnbv, apparently relating to matters of 
colt. 



ham. Yczrry inckt'd, 
dutv to his familv. 
heart " to do a rf^Ifcw 
him says, ** Why sho 
thy property? Rathe 
to thy children." ' So 
telling man, for instan 
lence, because he is lo< 
he will appeal to the i 
"Sin and the Holy O 
thee." * 

The beginning of the 
with man is a conlrovert« 
cording to some, the Ei 
cohabitation. Thus R. 
himself to the effect: I 
the Evil Yezer considei 
eration came through tl 
constantly gaining in st 
arrives? The Evil Yezi 



EVIL YEZER: SOURCE OF REBELLION 253 

Acha, who, with reference to Ps. 51 7, expressed him- 
self to the effect that in sexual intercourse even the 
saint of saints cannot well escape a certain taint 
of sin, the act of cohabitation being performed more 
with the purpose of satisfying one's animal appe- 
tite than with the intention of perpetuating the human 
species.* Very near to this notion, though not quite 
identical, is that which teaches that the Evil Yezer 
enters into man when he is still in the embryonic state ; 
but this seems to have been an isolated opinion, having 
been abandoned by the very authorities who taught it 
first. This can be seen from the following passage, which 
is to the effect that Antoninus put the question to R. 
Judah the Saint, "When does the Evil Yezer begin his 
rule over man : from the moment of his formation into 
bones, muscles, and flesh, or from that of his birth?" 
R. Judah was inclined to the former view, to which 
Antoninus objected on the ground that we have no 
proof of any malign tendency on the part of the embryo. 
Thereupon R. Judah declared himself in favour of the 
latter view, and in a public lecture made the statement, 
"This fact Antoninus taught me, and Scripture is in 
his support ; as it is said, * At the door (of man's enter- 
ing the world) the sin lieth.' " * Likewise isolated is 
another opinion, which is to the effect : that the child 

^ Lev, R., 14 6. The sense of the passage is not very clear. See 
also YaUkut Machiri, Ps, to this verse and cf. Bacher, Ag. Am., 3 144. 

' See Sanhedrin, 91 ^. Cf. Gen, R,, 34 s, tiud/er, Berachoth, 6 d„ 
Ct L5w's LebemaUeTy p. 64 seq. 



2 54 SOME ASPECTS OF RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

of six, seven, eight, and nine years sins not; only from 
the age of ten he begins to grow (or perhaps to magnify, 
or to cultivate) the EvU Yezer} The general notion 
seems to be the one accepted by R. Judah, which is 
that the Evil Yezer accompanies man from his earliest 
childhood to his old age, by reason of which he enjoys 
a priority of not less than thirteen years over the Goad 
Yezer, who only makes his appearance at the age of 
puberty. 

It is on account of this seniority that he establishes 
a certain government over man and is thus called "the 
old foolish king." ^ It is true that children enjoy a 
certain immunity from sin, on account of their unde- 
veloped physical condition, so that the Rabbis speak 
of the breath of the school children, in which there is 
no (taint of) sin. Indeed, the death of children is 
mostly explained as an atonement for the sins of 
their parents or their grown-up contemporaries." 
Yet, they are, as already indicated, not quite free 
from the Evil Yezer, who, as we have seen, accosts 
man from his earliest childhood. "Even in his state 
as minor, man's thoughts are evil." * As it would seem, 

1 See Tan. r"rK-^.2, 7. 

2 See ^. A*, .v., 32 ^ ; Eccles. R,^ 411 and 915; Nedarifm^ 32 ^; 
M., T. 9 5, and 7^an. B.^ I, 102 a and b. From Tan, B,, I es a, it would 
seem that it is at the age of Bfleen that the effects of the Evil Yaer 
become visible. The reading is, however, not certain. See Note 5, 
ibiJ., on the various parallel passages and the different readings. 

^ See Shahbath^ 119 ^ and 33 b. Cf. Gen. ^., 58 a and commenta- 
ries. See also above, p. 193, below, p. 311. 
* Jer. Berachoth, 6 b. 



EVIL YEZER: SOURCE OF REBELUON 25$ 

it is in the asp)ect of " fool" (stupid and wanting in cau- 
tion and foresight) that the influence of the Evil Yezer 
makes itself felt in the child. " From the moment man 
is bom, the Evil Yezer cleaves to him." And this is 
illustrated by the following fact: If a man should 
attempt to bring up an animal to the top of the roof, 
it will shrink back; but the child has no hesitation in 
nmning up, with the result of tumbling down and 
injuring himself. If he sees a conflagration, he will 
nm to it; if he is near burning coals, he will stretch 
out his hands to gather them (and be burnt). Why 
(this audacity and want of caution), if not because of 
the Evil Yezer that was put in him ? ^ 

The seat both of the Evil and the Good Yezer is in 
the heart, the organ to which all the manifestations of 
reason and emotion are ascribed in Jewish literature.' 

^ See A. R. N,, 32 a^ 32 b, text and notes. 

* The importance of this organ in Rabbinic literature will be more 
clearly seen by the reader through reproducing here the following 
passage in EccUs, R., 1 u, omitting such clauses as seem to be mere 
repetition, as well as the Scriptural verses cited there in corroboration 
of each clause. Cf. P, K^ 124a and d, text and notes: ''The heart 
sees, the heart hears, the heart speaks, the heart walks, the heart falls, 
the heart stops, the heart rejoices, the heart weeps, the heart is com- 
forted, the heart grieves, the heart is hardened, the heart faints, the 
heart mourns, the heart is frightened, the heart breaks, the heart is 
tried, the heart rebels, the heart invents, the heart suspects (or criti- 
cises), the heart whispers, the heart thinks, the heart desires, the 
heart commits adultery, the heart is refreshed, the heart is stolen, the 
heart is humbled, the heart is persuaded, the heart goes astray, the 
heart is troubled, the heart is awake, the heart loves, the heart 
hates, the heart is jealous, the heart is searched, the heart is torn, 



Mciiri. More min 
the lu-arl a> having 
which is ihc seal of 
where the Good Vei 
the statement, "Two 
him for good, the ot 
say it is evident the fc 
on the left side; as i 
man is on his right, tl 
(Eccles. 10 2).' The 
auxiliary function, 
understands (to decide 
ever, be noted that in 

the heart meditates, the hear 
heart repents, the heart is wa 
heart accepts words (of comf 
the heart gives thanks, the hei 
is deceitful, the heart is bri 
the heart receives command 
makes reparation, the heart i 
» Berachoth, 6i a. The ft 
from Kccles. lo i. " H*-'' '»-- 



i( 



EVIL YEZER: SOURCE OP REBELUON 257 

interpreted to mean that the wise man's heart on the 
right is the Good Yezer, which is placed on the right 
of man; and the fool's heart to his left is the Evil 
Yezer, which is placed to his left.* We are thus brought 
to the notion identif)ring the two Yezer s with the two 
hearts, of which the Rabbis speak occasionally. What 
is the meaning, they say, of the verse, "For the Lord 
searcheth all the hearts" ? (i Chron. 28 9). These are 
the two hearts and the two Yezer s : the bad heart with 
the EvU Yezer, and the good heart with the Good 
Yezer? Indeed, the angels, who have only one heart, 
are free from the Evil Yezer, a blessing to which Israel 
will attain only in the Messianic times.' Therefore, 
man is bidden not to have two hearts when he prays, 
one directed to the Holy One, blessed be he, and the 
other occupied with worldly thoughts; just as the priests 
are bidden not to have two hearts, one directed to the 
Holy One, blessed be he, and the other directed to 
something else, when they are performing their sacri- 
ficial rites.* Indeed, the pious generation of the 
prophetess Deborah had only one heart, directed 
towards their Father in Heaven.* The same thought 
is expressed in different words in another place : Moses 

^ Num. R.y 22 9. 

' See above, p. 243, note 2 and reference there to a differing read- 
ing. To this should be added Midrash Prov., 12, where, with reference 
to Ps. 7 10, it is distinctly remarked, " Has a man two hearts? Bat by 
these are meant, the Good Yezer and the EvU Yezer,** 

* Gen. R., 48 u. 

« Tan,, M^, i and 2. Cf. Tan, B,^ 5 as ^. * MegiUah^ 14 a. 

s 



258 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

said to Israel, " Remove the Evil Yezer from your hearts, 
so that ye may be all in one fear of God and in one 
counsel to serve before the Omnipresent. As he is 
alone in this world, so shall your worship of him be 
only to him (single-hearted)," as it is said, "Circum- 
cise therefore the foreskin of thy heart." * 

The loose manner in which heart and Evil Yezer are 
interchangeably used in the foregoing passage, suggest 
the close affinity between the two, as indeed, heart 
sometimes stands for Yezer } "The eyes and the heart 
are the agents of sin," but as it is pointed out by an 
ancient Rabbi, the first impulse comes from the heart, 
the eyes following the heart." There is a clean heart for 
which the Psalmist prays (51 12), and there is the con- 
taminated heart to which the Evil Yezer owes the name 
of "unclean." * Again, it is the heart that brings the 
righteous to Paradise, it is the heart that hurls down 
the wicked to Hell, as it is said, "Behold, my servants 
shall sing for joy of hearty but ye shall cry for sorrow 
of heart'^ (Is. 6514).* We must, however, not press 
this point too much so as to identify the heart with the 
Evil Yezer y for not only have the Rabbis, as we have 

^ T. K.^ 33^- See above, 1 60. 

^ See Sukkah^ $2 a (heart of stone), and cf. above, 243. In /tofdb- 
Jonathan the 27 is in most cases rendered with KHST. Cf. Exod. 4 
21; 73; 13 and 14; S 16.28; 9 7. m; io 1. s>. 27; ii 10. Dent. 5 m; 
II 19; 29 '25; 30 6. 

^ See Jer. Berachoth^ 3 c\ Sifre, 35 a, and Num. R^ \*j ^ 

^ See above, p. 243, and reference given there to Sukkak^ 52 «• 

^ xM. T., 119 8 (146^). 



EVIL YEZER: SOURCE OP REBELUON 259 

seen, assigned to it the seat of the Good Yezety but they 
have even declared it as the abode of wisdom.* The 
good heart, again, is the most desired possession.' 
In the later literature, the heart is described as out- 
weighing all the other organs of man, hatred and love 
having their seat in the heart; as it is said, "Thou 
shaltnot hate thy brother in thine heart" (Lev. 1917), 
whilst it is also said, "And thou shalt love the Lord, 
thy God, with all thy heart" (Deut. 6 6)." It is also 
maintained that the heart is purer than anything else, 
and that everything good proceeds from it.* All that 
the heart is accused of is inconsistency. God says, 
"Two hundred and forty-eight organs have I created 
in man; all of these keep in the same manner as I 
have created them, except the heart;" (and) so said 
Jeremiah, "The heart changeth from moment to 
moment. It alters itself and perverts itself." * These 
changes apparently depend upon the nature of the 
tenant who gets possession of the heart. " As often as 
the words of the Torah appear and find the chambers 
of the heart free, they enter and dwell therein. The 
EvU Yezer has no dominion over these, and no man 
can remove them." • 

The heart is thus not in itself corrupt ; at least, not 
more corrupt than any other organ. Indeed, when 

1 Midrash Prov,, ch. I. « '6 MIK 17'm nmit. 

* See Aboth, 119. * Zohar, Num., 225 a. 

• See Ag, Ber,f ch. 2. Cf. Jeremiah, 17 19. 
^ A, R. N.fi$b\ Midrash Prov^ ch. 24. 



la/int:-^ and reluct a 
lay.^ Ar-^L' 10 man, il 
particular, that act a 
the heart's various 
that it is more often 
of the Evil Yezer th 
more blamed than a: 
but not on account c 
it. As a matter of fa 
synonymous with sou 
which commits sin, a 
speak of the ** soul of : 
(even when acquired 
tendcncv towards lu 
Rabbis, Scripture is i 
from a place where 
nevertheless, the fact i 
as much as the body 
a village and the soi 
well acquainted with i 



EVIL YEZER: SOURCE OF REBELUON 261 

to the soul, " AU that I have produced in the first six 
dajrs of creation I have produced for thy sake, but thou 
didst rob, sin and commit violence. . . ." "But it 
is impossible for the body to be without the soul, and 
if there is no soul there is no body, and if there is 
no body there is no soul ; they sin together ; (hence) 
'the soul that sinneth, it shall die' (Ezekiel 
18 »)." * 

The passages indicating a tendency to identify the 
heart (or the soul) with the Evil Yezer have further to 
be qualified by other Rabbinic statements looking for 
the source of sin to some force outside of man. For 

^ See Tan, B., $a atatAh, and Eccles, R., 6 e. The simile of the 
yiUmger and the courtier will be better understood by the following 
Rabbinic passages, on which it was probably based : Mechilta 36 b and 
MechiUa of R. Simon, p. 59, where Antoninus asks Rabbi, " Considering 
that the man is dead and the body in a state of decay, whom does God 
bring to judgement? " Whereupon Rabbi answered him, ** Before thou 
tuketh me about the body which is impure, ash me about the soul which 
is purey This is followed by the well-known [>arable of the blind and 
the lame, who robbed the garden of the king, etc. " Pure " and 
" impure " apparently stand here for lasting and decajring. It should 
be remarked that the words in italics are missing in the parables of 
Sanhedrin, 91 a ; Lev, R,,^b\ Tan. B,, 3 4 », and Tan, K*p^ 6. In 
Sifre, 132 a, man is defined as the only creature whose soul is from 
heaven and his body from the earth. If he obeyed the Torah and per- 
formed the will of his father in heaven, he is like one of the creatures 
above ; if he did not obey the Torah and the will of his father in heaven, 
he is like one of the creatures below. Qosely corresponding with it 
is the passage in Gen, R,, 8 11, where also man is described as a com- 
bination of those above (angels) and those below (animals). See 
also Gen, R,, 14 s and 27 4 ; Chagigah, 16 a ; and A, R, N,, 55 a, text 
and notes. See also Tan, B,, iibb, Cf. also above, 81 and 241, and 
below, 285. 



262 S03dE ASPECTS OF RABBI SIC THEOLOGY 

apart from what we may call the mythological view, 
identifying the Evil F^s^r with the serpent, or Samad, 
and of which some other names of the Evil Yezer in 
Rabbinic literature are to be considered as reminiscent 
at least,* the comparison of the Yezer's \'isitations to 
man with the passing traveller and other similar 
passages ^ point also to the fact that the Rabbis did 
not entirely view man in the light of a corrupt being. 
We have further to note that the Evil Yezer is, 
as indicated alx)ve, more conspicuous in the Jewish 
literature than the Good Yezer, whilst by Yezer, with- 
out any further specification, is often meant the 
Evil Yezer.^ This would suggest that there is in fact 
onlv one Y^ezcr, the Evil Yezer, and we mav further 
conclude that it is man himself, by his natural tendency, 
that represents the Good Yezer. Accordingly, when he 
commits evil, he acts under certain impulses not ex- 
actlv identical with his own natural self. The Rabbis 
further >[»eak of the leaven in the dough, preventing man 
from doing his TGod^s) will.* This metaphor is taken 
by some as indicating some inner physical defect in hu- 
man nature, but in another place forming a parallel 
j^a--age to the one just quoted, the leaven in the 
fiough api^ears together with the subjection to for- 
eign governments that make compliance with Grod's 

1 Sec abovv, p. 243. ■ Sec abo^e, p. 248. 

' Sc: i^. :\ukkaht 52 b ; Gen, ^^ 59 6 ; A6cik, I 4 ; Sifref 74 a; Tar- 
f^um \-) I's. 4 «!. 

^ /er. Berachothf 7 d. See below, p. 265, where the paaage it i^reo. 



EVIL YEZER: SOURCE OF REBELUON 



263 



will hard, if not impossible.^ It is thus a certain 
quasi-external agency which is made responsible for 
sin, whilst man himself, by his spontaneous nature, 
is only too an^dous to live in accordance with God's 
commandments. 

^ Berackethf 17 a. 



MAX'S VICTORY 
OVER THE EVIL 

The opinions rccc 
some of which sugges 
outside of man, and 
scribed as the source < 
be pressed to such an ( 
an independent existc 
warfare with God. As 
theologj', the Rabbis, 
managed to steer betwe< 
allowing the one aspect 
proportions as to obsci 
must be noted that the j 
is, as is everything else 
God. Thus with refere 
prets the fact of the ^ 
two Yods to indicate i\ 



VICTORY OVER EVIL YEZER 265 

7 : 14), which verse Rabbi Akiba explains to mean that 
God created the righteous and God created the wicked.* 
In a later semi-mystical Midrash, the same thought is 
repeated, " God created the world in pairs, the one in 
contrast to the other," as life and death, peace and 
strife, riches and poverty, wisdom and folly, the right- 
eous and the wicked.' This thought was so familiar 
to the people that the Rabbis tell a story of one of their 
colleagues who overheard a young girl praying thus: 
"Lord of the universe! Thou hast created paradise, 
thou hast created hell, thou hast created the righteous, 
thou hast created the wicked. May it be thy will that 
the sons of men should not be ensnared by me !" that is, 
that she might not prove the opportunity for the wicked.' 
We have already referred to the metaphor of the 
leaven in the dough as applied to the Evil Yezer. 
The metaphor occurs in a Rabbinic prayer running 
thus: "May it be thy will, O my God, and the God of 
my fathers, that thou breakest the yoke of the Evil 
Yezer and removest him from our hearts ; for, thou hast 
created us to do thy will, and we are in duty bound to 
do thy will. Thou art desirous and we are desirous. 
But who prevents it ? The leaven in the dough. It 
is revealed and it is known before thee that we have 
not the strength to resist him; but may it be thy will, 

* Ckagigah^ 15 a. ^ See Midrash Temurah, 

* See Sotah, 22 a, Cf. Edeles. The parallel, however, in Baha 
Batkra^ 16 a (cf. below, p. 273), shows that by creation of the wicked 
is meant creation of Evil Yeur, 



remark ■uitf, rctVi 
f"u>; !hc- leav.n I. 

same thought is c 
erence to Gen. 6 6 

^'d. " It is Ivvho f 
the £z„7 K«f;. ^-hjc 

would have commit 

But the leaven, e 

Rabbis, its good pu 

universe, as an>nhing 

entirely enl. Thus 

sau' everything t hath, 
good " (Gen. , 3. ,, an 
refer to the Evil Yeze, 
"Indeed, can the Ex 
g°od.?" Theansuer 
^«fr a man would n 

•I'ove. p. ,4., „„,^ g 7 . 

aJ«o one nr.,«;^- . . *^ 



VICTORY OVER EVIL YEZER 267 

a wife, nor beget children, nor engage in commerce. 
As further proof of this is given the verse, "Again I 
considered all travail, and every right work, that for 
this a man is envied of his neighbour" (Eccles. 44).* 
Elnvy itself, which is one of the ugliest qualities, can 
thus be made serviceable for a good purpose. This 
corresponds with another statement, according to which 
the three things upon which the world is based are: 
envy, lust, and mercy. In another version the same 
statement is paraphrased in the following way : " Three 
good qualities, the Holy One, blessed be he, created 
in this world, namely, the Evil Yezer, Envy, and 
Mercy. ^^ ' The Evil Yezer has thus Uttle in 
common with the evil principle of theology, but is 
reduced to certain passions without which neither the 
propagation of species nor the building up of the 
proper civilisation would be thinkable. They only 
become evil by the improper use man makes of 
them. It is probably in this sense that the Evil Yezer 
is called once the servant of man. "The Holy One, 
blessed be he, said: *See what this wicked people do. 
When I created them I gave to each of them two 
servants, the one good and the other evil. But they 
forsook the good servant and associated with the evil 
one.'"* But even the Evil Yezer in his aspect of 

* Gffi. R,f 9 7. Cf. also Eccles, R,, 3 11. 

* A, R, N,f 9 a, text and note 9. 

* Ag, Ber,, i 4. Cf. Tan, B., i w a. The latter reads, " Two crea- 
tiona I made in man: the Good Yezer and the Evil Yezer" But a 
comparison of the two texts shows that in this case the Ag. Ber, pre- 



**«-*vyii 



yi^ of Abraham 

'^.^' '^f Job. Sat 

[«« appreciation c 

''ave kissed the R 

Rabbi went even so 
the wickedness of 1 
connection with the 

*h« God hath mad, 

^^h the Rabbi re 

'^ he, ivho is called r 

y in his image, di. 

n^n should be as rigl 

j; »an will argue, , 

^''^r of whom it is w, 
>;outh of man? if c 

hen could make him , 
(man) hast made him i 

•efwd the better re«l,w rr 
Wterestint to .eo n. u ^ '" 



VICTORY OVER EVIL YEZER 269 

Uttle chadren commit no sin, and as it is man who 
breeds the Evil Yezer it is thus with the growth of man 
that sin comes. Grod further reproaches man, saying, 
that there are many things harder and bitterer than 
the Evil Yezer, but man finds the means to sweeten 
them. If man succeeds in making things palatable 
that are created bitter, how much more could he succeed 
in tempering the Evil Yezer who is delivered into the 
hands of man ? ^ 

By making him "bad" is meant, the abuse of those 
passions which are in themselves a necessity. The 
same question as to why God has created the Evil 
Yezer is answered in another place to the following 
effect: The matter is to be compared to a king who 
had slaves separated from him by an iron wall. The 
king proclaimed, "He who loves me shall climb 
this wall and come up to me. He will prove by this 
effort that he fears the king, and loves the king."* 
The text is not quite clear, but the general drift is that 
the Yezer who forms such an obstacle on the path of 
righteousness was created with the purpose that man 
should make a strong effort to overcome him, thereby 
testifying his loyalty and devotion to the King God, 
and increasing his reward when all the obstacles have 
been overcome. 

Though these two opinions differ as to the nature 
and purpose of the EvU Yezer, they both agree that he 

1 Tan,, nvKnn, 7. 

* S. E. Z., p. 193. 



it is written in the ' 
desire, but thou s 
This verse is paraj 
actions in this work 
pardoned in the woi 
mend thy deeds in tl 
for the great Day of 
thy heart he lies, but 
Yezer^ and thou shalt 
for evil." ' Man ha: 
and it is only by man 
the Evil Yezeff who a 
powerless, gains masc 
dictate to man. If n 
ness; but if he does i 
hands of the Evil Yezi 
The difference betw< 
is that the wicked are i 
the righteous have the 
it would seem as if '^ 



VICTORY OVER EVIL YEZER 271 

over man and sin becomes his master, or man gains mas- 
tery over Satan and he suppresses him/ Nay, man has 
in his power not only to resist the EvU Yezer, but to turn 
his services to good piurpose. At least the wicked are re- 
proached for their failing to make the Evil Yezer good.' 
It is simply a question of choice, the wicked preferring 
the EvU Yezer y while the righteous decide for the Good 
Yezer? Again, the men of the deluge are described 
as those who themselves made the EvU Yezer rule over 
them, by following his devices.* On the other hand, 
Abraham is said to have had dominion over the EvU 
Yezer ^ whilst all the patriarchs are recorded to have 
enjoyed the blessing that the EvU Yezer had no domin- 
ion over them.* Joseph, again, is called the ruler over 
\iisEvU Yezer.'' When the EvU Yezer is about to over- 
power man, the righteous will resist him with an oath, 
as we find in the case of Abraham, Boaz, David, and 
Elijah, who all conjured their Yezer to desist from his 
evil intentions, while the wicked will conjure their 
Yezer, urging him to commit the evil deed, as in the 
case of Gehazi.* Counsel is given to man that he 
should prove himself higher and above his sin, not 
allowing himself to become its slave and be buried under 

1 See Wertheimer, DTTinO IDp*?, p. 4 b. 

■ See Ag, Ber,, ch. I. * MHG., p. 131. 

« EccUs, ^.,91. » MHG,, p. 354. 

• See Baba Bathra, if a, 

' Num, R,, 14 8. Cf. Deui, R,, 2 : 33. 

* See Sifrtf 74 a ; Gen, R,, 87 6 ; Ln/, R., 23 11 ; and references 
given there. Cf. also M/fG,, p. 585, text and note 31. 



Dv his secluclion 
the world to come 
Man is further c 
Yezer against the 
not supposed to Ix 
to assist the Good Y 
the EvU Yezer ^ but 
establish the kingdo. 
Yezer} As an insta 
Yezer over the Evil 
given : The Saint, Ab 
on the eve of the Sab 
set in. He had his p^ 
found at the crossroad 
" Rabbi, do with me \ 
and carrj' me to the t« 
leave here my pack ( 
how shall I and mv i\ 
I leave here this leper 
dared the Good Yezer 



VICTORY OVER EVIL YEZER 273 

his pack and arrived at the town again just about sun- 
set. They all wondered and said, "Is this the Saint 
Abba Tachna?" He himself had some regrets in his 
heart about it, fearing that he had profaned the Sab- 
bath, but just at this time the Holy One, blessed be he, 
caused the sun to shine.^ 

The weapons used in this war against the Evil 
Yezer are mainly: occupation with the study of the 
Torah and works of loving-kindness. "Blessed are 
Israel," the Rabbis say; "as long as they are devoted 
to the study of the Torah, and works of loving-kindness, 
the Evil Yezer is delivered into their hands." * 

It is especially the Torah which is considered the best 
remedy against the Evil Yezer. When Job remon- 
strated with God, "Thou hast created Paradise, thou 
hast created Hell, thou hast created the righteous, and 
thou hast created the wicked. Who prevented thee (from 
making me righteous?)," he sought by this argument 
to release the whole worid from judgement, seeing that 
they sin under compulsion. — But his friend answered 
him, "If God has created the Evil Yezer , he also 
created the Torah as a spice (remedy) against him." • 
To the same effect is another passage, " My son, if this 
ugly one (the Evil Yezer) meets you, drag him into the 
schoolhouse (Beth-Hammidrash). If he is a stone, he 
will be groimd (into powder) ; if he is iron, he will be 
broken into pieces; as it is said, *Is not my word like 

> See EceUs. R., 97. * Abodak Zarah^ 5 b. 

* BabaBiUkra^ 16 a. 

T 



wav: "David said, *Allo\ 
they wish, but let them gc 
in the Heth-Hammidrash, 1 
enter the Bcth-Hammidrasl 
the way, but as soon as theyi 
Satan must abandon the raa 
is absorbed in the words of 
from himself all idle thoug 
insinuated by the Evil Yeu 
to the Evil Yezer suggest e 
gorical explanation of Gen. 
and behold there were three 
are meant the three mastei 
out of this well they watered i 
the Torah; but the stone i 
Yezer^ who can only be ren 
whole congregation ; who roL 
mouthy by means of their lisl 
as soon as they left the Syna] 
serted himself." * The fact. 



VICTORY OVER EVIL YEZER 275 

on "tablets of Stone" (Exod. 2422), suggested the follow- 
ing explanation : " Since the Evil Yezer is also called 
stoncy as it is said, 'And I will take away the stony 
heart'" (Ezek. 3626), "it is only proper that stone 
should watch over stone." * The efifects of the Torah 
in this battle with the Yezer seem to be difiFerently 
understood by the different authorities, for while one 
Rabbi gives as advice, " If the Yezer come to make you 
merry (or frivolous), then kill him (or throw him down) 
by the word of the Torah," the other Rabbi coimsels us 
" to rejoice the Yezer with the words of the Torah " ; that 
is, to use the inclination of man towards joy and cheer- 
fulness for the joy and the happiness which man should 
find in accomplishing the will of God.* The killing of 
the Evil Yezer is further recommended in the follow- 
ing words, " To him who kills his Yezer and confesses 
upon it, it is reckoned as if he would have honoured 
the Holy One, blessed be he, in two worlds, this worid 
and the worid to come." * But it would seem that this 
is not considered as the highest attainment of man; 
for it is said of Abraham, that he made the Evil Yezer 
good. Indeed, the Evil Yezer compromised with him, 
entering into a covenant that he would not make 
Abraham sin, whilst David, who could not resist the 
Evil Yezery had to slay him in his heart.* 

^ L£V, R.t 35 6; cf. also Num, R», 14 4, and Gzn/. R„ 6 11. 

* See Gen. R,, 22 6, text and commentaries. Cf. Af//G., p. I lO, for 
varying readings. Cf. Theodor's ed. of Gfu, R., p. 212. 

• SanhedrtHf 43 b, Cf. Lev, R., 9 1. See also below, p. 335 seq, 
*/€r, Berachoth, 14 b. See also above, p. 67. 



come into the han 
est, and whilher \\ 
art to give account 
of the same sanng 
four things will ne' 
he comes, where he 
of him, and who is I 
in this case is chiel 
vanity. These past 
extent, but they are 
tating upon his Io\ 
not be slow to give \ 
pride and conceit, 
death scr\'es also aj 
towards excess. An 
following: "At the \ 
students there preser 
'Let the master sinj 
began to sing, 'Woe 
unto us that we shal 






VICTORY OVER EVIL YEZER 277 

There may further be brought together under this cat- 
egory other remedies against the Evil Yezer which are of 
an ascetic nature. The story of the Nazarite who had 
his hair cut oflF with the purpose of subduing his Yezer 
has already been referred to.* A certain Rabbi, again, is 
recorded to have prayed for the death of his nearest 
kin, when he was under the impression that she would 
become the cause of sin.* The later Jewish moralists 
prescribed a whole set of regulations, which are more 
or less of an ascetic nature, and calculated to make a 
fence against transgression. But the imderlying idea 
of all of them is that all opulence, wealth, gluttony, 
and other opportunities of satisfying one's appetite 
are so many auxiliaries to the Evil Yezer. Thus the 
Scriptural verses in Deut. 11 16-16 are paraphrased, 
"Moses said unto Israel, *Be careful that you rebel 
not against the Holy One, blessed be he, because man 
does not enter upon this rebellion, but when he is full,'" 
that is, revelling in food and other luxuries.' The 
proverb was, "A lion does not roar from the midst of 
a heap of straw, but from the midst of a heap of meat." 
Another proverb was, " Filled stomachs are a bad sort 
(or plenty is tempting)." * Hence the homily of the 
Rabbi with reference to the verse, "Behold, I have 
refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee 
in the furnace of jx)verty" (Isa. 48 10), that it teaches 
that the Holy One, blessed be he, searched all good 

1 See above, p. 249. * Sifret 80 b. Cf. ibid,, 136 a. 

* TaanilA, 24 a. ^ Berachoth, 31 a. 



278 SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC THEOLOGY 

things but found nothing better for Israel than pov- 
erty.* 

It should, however, be remarked that even the Torah 
is not an all-powerful remedy in itself without the aid 
of heaven, which gives the Torah its real efficienqr. 
Thus with reference to the verse, "Let my heart be 
sound (D^ttD; in thy statutes, that I be not ashamed" 
(Ps. 119, 80), the Rabbis remark, "David said, 'Mas- 
ter of the world, when I am occupied in Thy Law, 
allow not the Evil Yezer to divide me . . . that the 
Evil Yezer may not lead me astray . . . but make 
my heart one, so that I be occupied in the Torah with 
soundness (jx-Tfection or fulness).'"* Ag^dn, with 
reference to another verse, "Make me understand the 
way of thy precepts" (Ps. 119 27), it is remarked that 
David said, *'My Master, say not unto me, behold they 
(the words of the Torah) are before thee, meditate 
u[X)n them by thyself. For if thou wilt not make me 
understand them, I shall know nothing." * The Torah 
bv itself is thus not sufficient to defeat the Evil Yezer. 
The conquest comes in the end from God. We are 
thus brought to the necessity of grace forming a promi- 
nent factor in the defeat of the Yezer, Hence, the va- 
rious [)rayers for the removal or the subjugation of the 
Evil Yezer, S[)ecimens of such prayers have already 
been ^ivcn/ Here we might further refer to the 

^ See Cha^igah^ 9 b. 

' hxoJ. A'., 19 '1. The reading is not quite clesr. I hare mdopted 
the real iing suggested by ^T^., note 8. 

3 M. 7'., 119 10. See also ibid, to verse 33. ^ See above, p. 265, 



VICTORY OVER EVIL YEZER 279 

individual prayer of R. Judah the Saint, in which he 
supplicates that God may save him from the EvU 
Yezer} A similar prayer we have from another 
Rabbi of a later date.* Other Rabbis, again, put 
their prayers in a more positive form, as, for instance, 
those who prayed that God would endow them with a 
Good Yezer} Sometimes neither the EvU Yezer nor 
the Good Yezer is mentioned, the prayer being more 
directed against sin, as for instance, the one running, 
" May it be thy will that we shall not sin, and then we 
shall not be put to shame." * The heart plays a special 
part in these prayers, as for instance the one which 
is to the effect, " May our heart become single in the 
fear of thy name. Remove us from all thou hatest. 
Bring us near to all thou lovest, and do with us a 
righteousness for thy Name's sake." Another similar 
prayer is, "May it be thy will. Lord God, and the 
God of our fathers, that thou put into our hearts 
to do perfect repentance." * As typical in this respect 
we may perhaps mention the lines in the daily prayer- 
book, " Make us cleave to the Good Yezer and to good 
deeds ; subjugate our EvU Yezer so that it may submit 
itself imto thee." • A prayer fairly combining all these 
features is the one repeated several times on the Day of 
Atonement, running thus: "Our God and God of our 

1 Berackoth, 16 b, 3 Beracho^ 17 a. 

■ See Berachotht 17 ^, txAJer, Berachoth^ 4 r. 

* Berachoth, 17 b, ^ /er, Berachoth^ 7 <L 

* See Berachoth, 60 b^ the text of which differs in some minor 
points from that in our prayer-books. Cf. Singer ^ p. 7, Baer, p. 43. 



sSo SOME ASPECTS OP RABBINIC TBBOLOGY 

fathers, forgive and pardon our iniquities on this Day 
of Atonement. . . . Subdue our heart to serve thee, 
and bend our Yezer to turn unto thee ; renew our reins 
to observe thy precepts, and circumcise our hearts to 
love and revere thy Name, as it is written in thy Law: 
And the Lord thy God will circumcise thy heart and 
the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with 
all thine heart and with all thy soul, that thou mayest 
live." ' The underlying idea of these passages, which 
can be multiplied by any number of parallel passages, 
is man's consciousness of his helplessness against the 
powers of temptation, which can only be overcome by 
the grace of God. The oldest prayer of this kind, of 
course, is the one in the Eighteen Benedictions, praying 
for God's help to bring man back unto him or his 
Torah and to his service, as well as the one for re- 
pentance,' 

A special feature about the Rabbinic passages em- 
phasi^ng the necessity of grace in the struggle with 
the Evil Yezer, is the implication of God's responsi- 
bility for the existence of the BvU Yezer. The pleading 
of Job and his insistence upon God's power to prevent 
»n has already been quoted, but there Job is censured 
for it.* Indeed, he was considered as an heretic for 
making this plea. A similar case we have with Cain. 
When reproached for murdering his brother, he is 
described as saying, "Master of the world, if I have 

> See Festiral Praxen, D*7 of Atonemeol, Put 11, pp. 14, 1 Sj, 334. 
■ Sec below, p. 341. ■ See above, p. 373, note ^ 



VICTORY OVER EVIL YEZER a8l 

killed him, it is thou who hast created in me the 
Evil Yezer. Thou watchest me and the whole world, t 
Why didst thou permit me to kill him? It is thou 
who hast killed him ... for if thou hadst received 
my sacrifice, as thou didst receive his (Abel's) sacri- 
fice, I would not have become jealous of him." * But 
of course Cain represents the bad type of humanity. 
Yet it is not to be denied that the Rabbis themselves 
sometimes employed similar arguments. Thus, with 
reference to the verse, " O Lord, why hast thou made 
us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from 
thy fear?" (Isa. 6317), the Rabbis plead in favour 
of the brothers of Joseph, "When thou (God) didst 
choose, thou didst make them love; when thou didst 
choose, thou didst make them hate."* Something 
similar is hinted about the affair of Cain and Abel. 
R. Simon b. Jochai said, " It is a thing hard to say, 
and it is impossible for the mouth to utter it. It is to 
be compared to two athletes who were wrestling in the 
presence of the king. If the king wills, he can have 
them separated ; but the king wills not ; (in the end) one 
overwhelmed the other and killed him. And (the dy- 
ing) man shouted : * Who can now demand justice for 
me (seeing that the king was present and could have 
prevented it) ? ' " ' In another place we read with refer- 
ence to the verses in Micah 4 6, Jer. 186, and Ezek. 36 28, 
that but for such statements as these, implying the pos- 

^ See Afl/G,, p. Ii2, and note 36. 
* Gen. Jf^t 18 90. * Gen. ^., 23 ft. 



this fact will save 
will ])k-a(l before ih 
of the world, thou 
duces us." ' It is 
that we read as sU 
indeed, must be the 
declares it as evil.' 
(heaven) makes the 
creation God regrets) 
because of which fac 
the sinners in Israe 
penitents; as they >^ 
the world: it is revea 
is the Evil Yezcr tha 
receive us in perfect r 
More emphatic, eve 
of Jer. i86, "Israel 
even when we sin an 
moved from us, for w 
potter » ' ^ 



VICTORY OVER EVIL YEZER 283 

Evil Yezer from our Very youth. It is he who causes us 
to sin before thee, but thou dost not remove from us 
the sin. We pray thee, cause him to disappear from • 
us, so that we may do thy will.' Whereupon God 
says, *So I will do in the world to come.'"* Nay, 
there are recorded cases of men belonging to the best 
type of humanity, who make the same plea as Job and 
Cain, though in somewhat more modest terms. Thus, 
Moses is said to have "knocked words against the 
height" (reproached God), arguing it was the gold and 
silver which he gave to Israel that was the cause of 
their making the golden calf.' Again, Elijah " knocked 
words against the height," saying to God, "Thou 
hast turned their heart back again" (i Kings 18 37). 
And the Rabbis proceed to say that God confessed that 
Elijah's contention was right.' 

For, indeed, God sometimes does make sin impos- 
sible, as in the case of Abimelech, to whom God said, 
"For I also withheld thee from sinning against me: 
therefore suffered I thee not to touch her" (Gen. 206). 
The Rabbis illustrate this in the following way: "It 
is to be compared to a strong man riding on a horse. 
But there was a child lying on the road which was thus 
in danger of being run over. But the man drove the 
horse so that it avoided the child. The praise in this 
case is certainly due to the rider, not to the horse. In 
a similar way Abimelech claimed a special merit for 
not having sinned. But God said unto him, *The 

^ Exod, Ji., 46 4. * Berackoth, 32 a. * Beratkoth, ibitL 



mmrj of the Jew v 

■lini.seJf," does not 

''^■'^- of his, though 

this class of creati 

he, regrets to hav 

say so.» "There 

says), "that I hav 

for if I woiUd not h 

he would not have i 

of God is expressed 

^^y- "After the He 

world he regretted t 

»t is said, ' O that tl 

that they would fear 

always ' (Deut. 5 » 

that Israel should h 

thou inferrest that the 

unto him; therefore ii 
he merits to receive re 
be well with them anc 



r ac\ yf 4 



VICTORY OVER EVIL YEZER 285 

possibility of sin, which spells death, and that of con- 
quering sin, which means life.* Angels have no Evil 
Yezer and are thus spared from jealousy, covetousness, 
lust, and other passions, but those who dwell below are 
under the temptation of the Evil Yezer, and therefore 
require a double guard of holiness to resist him.* This 
double guard they have in the Torah, as indicated 
above ; otherwise man is a free agent. To secure this 
freedom, it would seem that God has even foregone 
his prerogative in respect of preventing sin, so that 
the bold statement of the Rabbi that everything is in the 
power of God except (the forcing ujx)n man of) the 
fear of God, has become a general maxim, though, as is 
well known, this maxim is not without its difiBculties.' 
All that God does is only in the way of warning, and 
reminding man that there is an Eye watching him, and 
that he will be responsible for his choice. " Everything 
is seen, and freedom of choice is given . . . the shop is 
open ; and the dealer gives credit ; and the ledger lies 
open; and the hand writes; and whosoever wishes to 
borrow may come and borrow." * In another place, 

^ See Gen. R., 14 s. See above, p. 261, note i, and below, 292. 

* See Shabbath^ 89 a ; Gen, R,, 48 11 ; Lev, R,, 24 8 and 26 6. 

* See Berachoth^ 33 b ; Megillah, 25 a ; Niddah^ 16 b\ Tan, 
^*Tlpfi, 3. Cf. Tosafoth to the passages in the Talmud. 

^ See Aboth, 3 is. Cf. Taylor, 3 24, and Bacher, Ag, Tan., I VA. See 
alio A,R,N.t 58 b. According to the version given there of this saying 
of R. Akiba, it is altogether very doubtful whether the Rabbi really 
meant to emphasise the antithesis of predestination and free will. Cf. 
Commentaries to Aboth. See also AJl,N., 75 a and 81 b, suggesting 
that the ^1fi3C refers to man. 



wav of life and the \va^ 
of these which we like 
'Choose life, that both 
(Dcut.y ibid.y Lifei 
Deut. 30 15 is paraphras 
you this day the way of 
and the way of death, w 
sin of Adam, indeed, c 
made choice of the evi 
before him two ways, the 
life, and he (Adam) cho 
same complaint is made 
tory, of whom it is said, ' 
that is not good" (Ps. 3 
and meditate iniquity: t! 
for good and the one for < 
"Who leave the paths oi 
ways of darkness." For 
to speak truth, but your 
hands were crentpH ^^ «- 



VICTORY OVER EVIL YEZER 287 

blind walk in the evil way and the open-eyed ones 
walk in the way of good.* 

The verse, again, "Surely he scorneth the scorners; 
but he giveth grace unto the lowly" (Prov. 3 34), is 
interpreted, he who desires to contaminate himself 
they open unto him, he who desires to purify himself 
they aid him (from heaven). "For indeed things de- 
filing do not come upx)n man unless he turned his 
mind to them and became defiled by them," whilst 
God increases the strength of the righteous that they 
may do his will, but he that guards himself against sin 
for three times, has the promise that henceforth God 
will guard him ' In different words, the same thought 
is expressed in another place, "In the way in which 
a man chooses to walk, they guide him (or allow him 
to walk). This is to be derived from the Torah, where 
it is written (with regard to Balaam), first, *Thou 
shalt not go with them' (Num. 25 12), and then, *Rise 
up and go with them' {ibid. 20); from the Prophets, 
where it is said, *I am the Lord, thy God, which 
teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way 
that thou shouldst go' (Isa. 48 17); and from the 
Hagiographa, where it is said, 'Surely, he scorneth 
the scorners; but he giveth grace unto the lowly' 
(Prov. 3 36)."» 

A peculiar paraphrase of the verses quoted above from 

* M, T., 36 8 and 58 a; Exod. R., 30 ». 

* Shabbathy 104 a. See also T. K,^ 91 a\ P. JC,, 161 a\ and/fr. 
Xiddushin, 6nL * Makkoth, 10 b. 



uiiv ilic Lte and tl 

The Holy One, bles: 

two ways I have givei 

the one for evil: thai 

is of death." That oi 

of righteousness and 

placed in the middle. 

enter upon them, he e^i 

gates, that the righteo 

(Isa. 26 2). . . . But t. 

upon each door seven 

within and three withou; 

angels. . . . And when 

first door, the merciful j 

unto him, "Why dost 

fire, among the wicked 

us and do repentance. . 

second door, they say u 

already passed in throug 

into the second I Why c 
from ♦*•- '^ 



VICTORY OVER EVIL YEZER 289 

Listen irnto us and return 1" When he reaches the 
fourth door, they say unto him, "Thou hast passed 
already the third door! do not come into the fourth 
door! . . . Thou hast not listened and stayed thy 
steps hitherto . . . the Holy One, blessed be he, for- 
gives the sins and pardons, and says every day, * Return, 
ye backsliding children!'" If he listens imto them, 
well ; if not, woe unto him and to his star.' " * 

The quoted passage, with the constant reminder 
coming from the angels of mercy, brings us back to 
the idea of grace, or the thought of man standing in 
need of the aid of heaven in his struggle with Yezer. 
Besides the passages given above, we may add here the 
following statement, "Every day the Yezer of man 
assaults him and endeavours to kill him, and but 
for the Holy One, blessed be he, who helps man, he 
could not resist him." ' It may be that it wa^s this 
feeling of man's comparative helplessness in such a 
condition which wrung the cry from the Rabbi, "Woe 
imto me of my {Evil) Yezer and woe unto me of my 
Yaser (Creator)."* But man has to show himself 
worthy of this grace, inasmuch as it is expected that 
the first effort against the Evil Yezer should be made on 
his part, whereupon the promise comes that Yezer will be 
finally removed by God. Thus with reference to the 

^ p. R, E^ dL 15, Cf.the commentary of ^n. Ct Mr. C G. 
Montefiore, Rabbinic Conception of Repentance^ Jewish Quarterly 
Review^ v. 16, pp. 20^257. 

^Sukiak^S2b. *Sce BeracAotk, 61 a. 

V 



them, "Chip il otT lit 
comes when I will remo 
version of the same savii 
Holy One, blessed be he 
knowest the jx)wer of th 
hard.' \\Tiereujx)n the 1 
unto them, *Move the s 
and I will remove it from 
is said, "Cast up, cast u 
the stones" (Isa. 62 10), y 
said, "Cast ye up, cast y 
up the stumbling-block of 
The struggle >\ith the 
the advent of the Messiah, ' 
be he, will bring the Evu 
presence both of the righ 
To the righteous he will a 
mountain, and they will ci 
we able to subdue such an 



VICTORY OVER EVIL YEZER 291 

place, the removal of the Yezer from the world is 
described as follows: "If your scattered ones will be 
in the end of the heaven, from- there the word of the 
Lord your God will gather you through Elijah the 
High Priest, and from there he will bring you near 
through the hands of the King Messiah. And the 
word of the Lord your God will bring you to 
the land which your fathers inherited, and you shall 
inherit it ; and he will do you good, and multiply you 
above your fathers. And the Lord your God will 
remove the folly of the hearts of your children, for he 
will make the EvU Yezer cease from the world, and 
will create the Good Yezer, who will counsel you to 
love the Lord your God with all your hearts, and all 
your souls, that your lives may last forever." * 

Only once in history Israel had a presentiment of 
these Messianic times. When Israel (on the occasion 
of the Revelation on Mount Sinai) heard the command- 
ment "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" 
(Exod. 208), the Evil Yezer was uprooted from their 
hearts; but when they came to Moses and said unto 
him, "Our master Moses, become thou the messenger 
between us (Israel and God), as it is said, 'Speak thou 
with us . . . but let not God speak with us lest we 
die' (Exod. 20 19), the Evil Yezer came back at once 
in his place." They came again to Moses and said, 
"Our master Moses, we wish that he (God) should 
reveal himself again unto us." He answered them, 

1 Pstudo-Jonaihant Deut, 30 4, 



399 



sous ASPECTS OP RABBINIC TBEOLOCY 



"This is impos^ble now (but it will take place in the 
future to come)." ' Every separation from God, though 
not with the intention of sin, but with the purpose of 
establishing an intermediary, is, as we see, comddered 
as the setting up of another God, who is the cause of 
sn ; whilst on the other hand, it is suggested that it b 
by the conquering of the Evii Yezer that man enters into 
close communion with God. Thus Lev. 9 6 is para- 
phrased, " Remove the Evii Yezer from your heart and 
the Divine Presence will at once be revealed to you." ' 
But it is this struggle on the part of man which places 
him above the angels. " The angels said in the pres- 
ence of the Holy One, blessed be he, 'Master of the 
world, why are we not allowed to intone our song here 
in heaven (in the praise of God) before Israel sang their 
song below on earth?' And the Holy One, blessed be 
he, iinswered to them, 'How shall you say it (the song) 
before Israel? Israel have their habitation on earth; 
they are bom of women, and the Evii Yeser has domin- 
ion among them, and nevertheless they oppose the 
Yezer and declare my unity every day, and produm 
me as Ring every day, and long for my Kingdom and 
for the rebuilding of my Temple.' " * 

* Ptttidt-JtHoAam, Ler. 9 «. 
■). 56. See abore, p. 91, note 3. 



XVII 

FORGIVENESS AND RECONCILIATION 

WITH GOD 

The various aspects of the doctrine of atonement 
and forgiveness as conceived by the Rabbis may be 
best grouped round the following Rabbinic passage: 
"They asked Wisdom (Hagiographa), * What is the pun- 
ishment of the sinner?' Wisdom answered, *Evil pur- 
sues sinners' (Prov. 1321). They asked Prophecy, 
*What is the punishment of the sinner?' Prophecy 
answered, *The soul that sinneth, it shall die' (Ezek. 
184). They asked the Torah, *What is the punish- 
ment of the sinner?' Torah answered, *Let him bring 
a guilt-ofifering and it shall be forgiven unto him, as 
it is said, "And it shall be accepted for him to make 
atonement for him"' (Lev. 1 4). They asked the 
Holy One, blessed be he, *What is the punishment of 
the sinner?' The Holy One, blessed be he, answered, 
'Let him do repentance and it shall be forgiven unto 
him, as it is said, "Good and upright is the Lord: 
therefore will he teach sinners in the way"' (Ps. 258) — 
that is, that he points the sinners the way that they 

^93 



" l'r()])hcls of truth ai 
could not have escaped 
and the Prophets have 
the importance of re{)er 
shall see presently, accc 
accompanied by repent 
of repentance is limi 
in which sacrifices are 
really meant is, that 
various ways, through 
atonement of sacrifices, 
repentance, which latter 
the three. It should be 
of granting pardon is ci 
every mediator being ex( 
" for he will not pardon 
mere messenger to accoi 
do. And so David said 
thou deliver me into the 
not lift up his countei 

* See yirr. A/aJkJko/A, 31 //, and 
places defective, but they supple 



FORGIVENESS AND RECONCILIATION 295 

thee (God), as it is said, 'But there is forgiveness 
with thee' (Ps. 1304)."* David also prayed, "Let 
my sentence come from thy Presence (Ps. 171); do 
thou judge me, and deliver me not into the hands of 
an angel, or a seraph, or a cherub, or an ofan, for 
they are all cruel," as indeed they do object to the 
acceptance of the penitents altogether.* Indeed, God 
is desirous of acquitting his creatures and not of declar- 
ing them guilty. When the Holy One, blessed be he, 
said unto Moses, "What is my profession (ITUfilK) ?" he 
answered, "Thou art merciful and gracious and long- 
suflFering and abundant of goodness." • When they 
sin and provoke his anger, the Holy One, blessed be 
he, seeks for one to plead on their behalf and paves 
the way for him.* 

As sacrifice as a means of atonement is a promi- 
nent feature both in the Torah and in Rabbinic litera- 
ture, it will perhaps be best here to treat first of this 
aspect. It should be remarked that sacrifices are, 
as just hinted at, very limited in their efficacy as a 
means of atonement and reconciliation. Thus with 
reference to Lev. 4 1, " If a soul shall sin through igno- 

^ See Tan, B., 2 ^ b, text and notes. Cf. Sanhedrin, 38 b, the 
references there to Exod. 23 ai. Cf. above, p. 41, text and notes. 

■ See Ag, Ber,^ ch. 9. See also below, pp. 319 and 321. Cf. 5. E,, 
p. 109. See also Hoffmann's remark, Das Buck Leviticus^ 11 86, that 
whilst it is the priest who atones, fn3n HfiSl, the pardon comes from 

God, n^Dii. 

* See Yalkut to Num. 148 and Job, § 907, reproduced from the 
Yelamdenu, 

* Tan,, mn, 8. Cf. P. R,, ibid. 



yjiiiy oi pradisini^ i 
over sacrifices consis: 
effect of the former e 
wilfully, thai of the h 
mitted unintentionally 
the great majority o 
to matters ritual anc 
transgressions relating 
those sins which con 
mostly under the head 
atoned without proper 
remarked, that sin- 
to the opinion of the 
accompanied by repe 
of sins on the part of 
fices.* The injunction 
bring a sacrifice for th 

» Sec Keriehoth, 9 a; T, K 

• Deut. R.y 5 «. Sec comm 

• Sec Maimonidcs, T'i-C H 



FORGIVENESS AND RECONCILIATION 297 

the evil deeds which they have in their hands, and are 
not accepted in grace." * 

A main condition in the sacrificial service aptly de- 
scribed sometimes in contradistinction to prayer as the 
"service of deeds" is the purity of intention and the 
singleness of purpose with which the sacrifice is brought. 
It has to be brought with the intention "of giving 
calmness of spirit for the sake of him who created the 
world." Quantity is of no consideration, considering 
that both the burnt -oflFering of an animal and the bumt- 
oflFering of a mere bird form a sweet savour unto 
the Lord (Lev. i 9 and 17). "This is to teach," as the 
Rabbis proceed to say, "that both he who increases (his 
offering) and he who diminishes his offering are 
alike pleasing unto the Lord, provided each directs his 
mind toward heaven." ' From another place, it would 
almost seem as if it were the less costly sacrifice that is 
the more acceptable. It is with reference to the circum- 
stance that the term 3'npm used of the sacrifice con- 
sisting in a ram (Lev. 1 13) is omitted at the sacrifice 
consisting of a bullock (Lev. ibid., 9). On this the 
Rabbis remark, "Let no man think, *I will do things 
ugly and things imworthy, but will afterwards bring 
a bullock which has much flesh and cause it to be 
brought upon the altar.' How ! will God respect per- 

^ Tar;pim, Eccles. 4 n ; cf. Berachothf 23 a. 

' See T, K.^ 8 b and 9 b. See also Zebachim, 46 b, Cf. Hoffmann 
at aboye, p. 92. The words " calmness of spirit '' are a sort of para- 
phrase of the Hebrew equivalent, VSTl ITH, usually rendered into Eng- 
lish by ** tweet savour/' Cf. above, p. 160. 



(•'-■iiuiice." 



'n'<'ntion of j. 
'^ "UT have 
Indeed, it won 
only raison d 
'vjth God's ivi 
Thus, with ref 
's a calmness 
and my will wa 
prove that the 
v't^'ng the Holy 
Quotes the well- 
concJudcs to the 
fice unto him, ir 

'See s. E, pp. 6 
i""« »e.O i. i„ J 
*>"«■••• » to be c«.wL 

".vc t: it'.. „ ,. , 

I>»v.d to this passage. 
See A>».,. 5^ „ ^, 

■"'» references. pve„ t 
;;--«:..nclu,H„g,e„te„c'e 

Con fin r* •-. .1 



FORGIVENESS AND RECONCIUATION 299 

The atoning efiFect of sacrifices difiFers with the vari- 
ous sacrifices. The sin-oflFering brings complete recon- 
ciliation, whilst others have only the power of partial 
atonement or of suspending the judgement of God.* 
Interesting is the following controversy between the 
School of Shammai and the School of Hillel with refer- 
ence to the "continual burnt-offering" consisting of 
two lambs (Num. 28 3, seq.). According to the School 
of Shammai, "they only subdue the sins of Israel," 
as it is said, "He will subdue our iniquities; and thou 
wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea" 
(^Ccah 7 19), but the School of Hillel teaches that, 
"Everything which is subdued (or sunk) may, in the 
end, come to the surface," but the name of this sacri- 
fice means that the two lambs have the effect to wash 
away the sins of Israel.^ It is in this way, it is 

leas I am not inclined to think that the Rabbis entertained any such 
rationalistic views as those with regard to sacrifices. Excepting the 
well-known passage in Lrv. ^., 22 8, the meaning of which is, however, 
Tery doubtful, there is nothing to prove that they in any way depre- 
cated it Cf. Hoffmann, Das Buck LeviHcuSt pp. 79-92. On the other 
hand, the facility with which the Rabbis adapted themselves after the 
destruction of the Holy Temple to the new conditions must impress one 
with the conviction that the sacrificial service was not considered abso- 
lutely indispensable. 

^ Cf. Hoffmann, ibid.^ pp. 79-92. About sacrifices atoning only 
partially or having only suspending power, H^VI, see Yoma^ 85 ^, text 
and commentaries. 

' P. K^ 61 3 ; P, R,^ 84 a and commentaries. The Beth Shammai 
take the word D^!U as if it were written with a V^, thus meaning 
** suppressing " or ** subduing," and corres{>onding to V^SS^ of Micah. 
The Beth Hillel take the word 0^32 as if it would have a C instead 
of a S^i which would thus mean *< washing " and refer to Jeremiah, 4 u. 



The continual offe 
nor is there in the ] 
power; but there is 
literature to bestow oi 
burnt-offering and tk 
atoning power for cert 
mission and omission, 
sacrifice at all.' We] 
an atoning power to tl 
All such passages have 
they are in no way 
vidua] from his duty 
certain actions, nor fro; 
nected with the transg 
prohibitive or affirmati 
especially those connect 
high priests or with 
chiefly to the communi 
the Rabbinic high cone 

[ Sec Pieudthjonatkan to Nu 



FORGIVENESS AND RECONCILIATION 301 

of Israel, was greatly responsible for the sins of the 
individual, but practically helpless to prevent them. 
Following, as it seems, the precedent of the expiatory 
ceremony of the heifer beheaded in the vi,Iley in the 
case of unknown murder (Deut. 21 1-9), they also came 
to perceive in almost every object connected with the 
sanctuary or the high priest as many symbolic atone- 
ments protecting the community against the conse- 
quences of sins beyond its ken and its power to interfere.* 
The Day of Atonement, with its various atoning 
functions, is also, as is well known, largely the means of 
protection for the commimity, and is chiefly concerned 
with sins connected with Levitical impurity. Accord- 
ing to the Rabbis, the atoning eflfect of the scapegoat 
(Lev. 16 21) extends also to the individual, and expiates 
also for other " transgressions of the Law, the light and 
the heavy ones, committed intentionally or uninten- 
tionally, knowingly or unknowingly, of an affirmative 
or prohibitive nature, punished by excision from the 
community or even by capital punishment." ' It is 

^ See /, T. Yoma, 44 b ; Arachin^ 1$^* Zibachim, 88 b^ text and 
commentaries ; Lev» /?., 10 «, and Can/. /^», 4 4. Some sort of a prece- 
dent is given in the diadem on the forehead of the high priest, to 
which an atoning efficacy is ascribed in the Scriptures. See Exod. 
28 18. Cf. also Epstein's commentary, rT&^23f1 rnV% to Exod. 29 1. 
The explanation given in the text here is that suggested by certain 
commentators of the Talmud, which is undoubtedly the only true one, 
though the Agadic expressions are very vague and not always 
consistent. 

' See Shebuoth, 2 b, Mishnah and Gemara^ 2 b and 6 ^ to 14 a, 
CI YomOf 85 b, Mishnah; T, K.^ 82 b. The distribution of the van- 



.... ovfAoiiilJ* l>ULy 

is subject lo the folic 
first, that it has to be 
the part of those who 
further, that in matte 

out atonements over the variot 
ment and other festivals and t 
one of the most complicated s 
cusMd at great length by di 
Babylon, and the Talmud of 
Briefly stated, it comes to thi 
congregation ("^3t} on new 
the Scriptures describe as a sii 
ment (cf. Ley. 23 19 ; and Nu; 
•I. n) are limited in their effic 
the case with the various sin-o 
ment, as detailed in Lev., ch. i( 
to the scapegoat, whose atone 
especially Tosephta Skebuotk, p 
purity is proved by the fact tl 
by not less than thirty-two lacr 
2T2QV, 3 9 and 1 1 9. See also I 
ment of Maimonides, that the s 
even without repentance, see 
Miihneh Torak, ed. Warsaw, 1 



FORGIVENESS AND RECONCILIATION 



303 



Day of Atonement loses its atoning power until proper 
restitution is made to the wronged person. "Matters 
between thee and the Omnipresent they forgive thee; 
matters between thee and thy fellow-man they forgive 
not until thou hast appeased thy neighbour." * In such 
matters touching one's fellow-man God neither respects 
persons nor will he by any means clear the guilty.' But 
apparently, in wronging one's fellow-man, there is also 
an offence against the majesty of God. Whence the for- 
mula in the case of asking forgiveness for the injury done 
to a man who died before satisfaction could be given 
him is, " I have sinned against the Lord, the God of 
Israel, and against the man I have injured." ' Man is 
thus also in need of the pardon of heaven, besides the 
achieved reconciliation from his fellow-man or through 
the worldly tribimal. Through these conditions, the 
Day of Atonement becomes practically the great Day of 
Repentance, the culmination of the Ten Days of Re- 
pentance. It brings with itself purification, the Father 
in Heaven making white the sin committed by the son, 
by his forgiveness and pardon.* "It is the Day of the 
Lord, great and very terrible," inasmuch as it becomes 
a day of judgement,* but also the Day of Salvation.* 

^ T. IT,, 83 a; Ycma, 85 a. 

'See Si/re Zu/a as reproduced by Yalkut to Ptnt^t § 71 1* And 
Num, R^ 116. Cf. Rosh Hashanah^ \*jb. The Rabbinic interpretation 
deab there with the seeniing contradiction between Num. 6 as and 
Dent. 10 17. 

' See Yomat 87 a. See also Mishnahy Baba Kama^ 8 7. 

* M. r., 94. » See Ttfif., n'?ttn, 2. • -P. R., 175 b. 



full and in the best sense 
Death and sufifering 
punishment satisfying t 
atonement, bringing par 
ciling man ^-ith God. 
emphatic and most solei 
Tannaitic statement: 1 
dead to re\ive; and thi 
know, and to notify, and 
is the framer, and he the 
and he the judge, and he 
plainant, and he is about 
no iniquity, nor forgetful 
nor taking of bribe, for ai 
according to reckoning, 
thee that the grave is a ] 
perforce thou wast fram 
bom, and perforce thou li 
and perforce thou art abc 
oning before the King of 



FORGIVENESS AND RECONCILIATION 305 

judgement of truth." * And when Pappos, on the au- 
thority of Job 23 13, expressed views implying a certain 
arbitrariness on the part of God because of his being 
One (alone), he was severely rebuked by R. Akiba, the 
latter Rabbi interpreting the meaning of the verse men- 
tioned, " There is nothing to answer to the words of 
him by whose word the world was called into existence, 
for he judges all in truth and everything in judgement 
(justice)." ' The same thought is somewhat differently 
expressed by another Rabbi, in allusion to Deut. 32 4: 
" * He is the Rock, his work is perfect : for all his ways 
are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, 
just and right is he.' His work is perfect towards all 
who come into the world (mankind), and none must al- 
l^e that there is the slightest injustice. Nobody must 
brood upon and ask, why was the generation of the 
deluge swept away by water ; why was the generation 
of the Tower of Babel scattered over all the world; 
why were the generations of Sodom and Gomorrah con- 
simied by fire and brimstone ; why was Aaron found 
worthy to be endowed with the priesthood ; why was 
David worthy to be presented with the kingdom ; and 
why were Korah and his congregation swallowed up by 
the earth? ... He sits in judgement against every 

^ A^ak, 3 1ft. 

> See Mtchilta, 33 a ; Cant. R,, 1 0. The parallel in Tan. B,,2ih, 
to the effect that God occupies only the position of the president of the 
heavenly court composed of angels, seems to be a younger paraphrase 
of the statement of R. Akiba. See £xod. R., 6 1. Cf . Bacher, Ag, 
Tan,, 3 St. 

X 



his lift- btf omc kxj.y.-. 
his ^'dtbt; in the end. 
thought is expressed ir 
the merciful one, but a1 
It should, however, 
R. Akiba, who insists o\ 
God, teaches also that 

1 See Si/re, 133 a. Cf. also 
with reference to Job 1 1 t. 

' See Ba6a A'ama, 50 a ; ^ 
aod notes. 

* Gen. R., 16 e. 

* Abotk, 3 IS. Cf. Taylor, 3 
sentence is followed in the editic 
(** everything is according to 
reading receives some support 
10 1, that both the world and tl: 
the majority of good actions. ( 
are also other rea^iings, as ** B< 
majority of deeds ; " or merely, 
Taylor, ibid., and his Appendix 
it would seem that this insistc 
applies only to thr iiw««T»«- — »■ ■— 



FORGIVENESS AND RECONCILIATION 307 

But it would seem that this grace is only confined to 
this world. In the next world there is only strict 
justice prevailing. Even Israel, apparently, enjoying 
otherwise so many privileges, is not exempt from the 
pimishment awaiting the sinners in the next world. 
When Moses ascended from hell, he prayed, "May 
it be thy will . . . that thou savest thy people Israel 
from this place." But the Holy One, blessed be he, 
said unto him, " Moses, there is not with me respect 
of persons, nor taking of bribe. He who will do good 
will be in the Paradise, he who will do evil will be 
in hell, as it is said, ' I the Lord search the heart, I 
try the reins, even to give every man according to his 
ways, and according to the fruit of his doings ' ( Jer. 
17 10)." * But even in this world, " when man sees 
that suffering comes upon him, he has to examine his 
actions," to see whether it has not come as a punish- 
ment for his sins. Likewise is death considered, in 
the majority of cases at least, as a punishment for 
the sin of the individual. For God is not suspected 
to execute judgement without justice.' 

But besides satisfying the claims of a just God or of 
justice, death and sufifering also atone and reconcile 

1 See rnvrn& ^rO, ed. Werthheimer, 4 » a. Against this view are 
Can/. J^.,S%; Exod, R,, 30 i«. Cf. also M, 7"., 15 24, text and notes, 
bnt the view given in the text appears to be the older one. Cf. Sifre, 
12 b^ text and notes 5 and 6, and Num, R., 117. 

* See Berachothf 5 a and b. For the difficulties in the way of this 
theory and the manner in which the Rabbis tried to solve it, see 
Schechter, Siudies in Judaism^ Enay on Retribution, p. 259 uq. 



which he lo.sl through 
him as a sacTifice on ll 
as the sacrifice in the c 
pie was in existence.' 
of self-sacrifice, or rath 
notion was not entirel) 
Ever)' loss of property 
every kind of physical 
undergo, are considerc 
stumbled in a transgress: 
by heaven (in contrad 
bunal). By what means 
his chickens went astray 
so that blood came out 
ing, his debts (to the ax 
are considered paid." * 

1 See Afechil/a, 68 3 and 69 
other rcfcrenctti. The other ki 
ment and Repentance, but sine 



FORGIVENESS AND RECONCILIATION 309 

through any accident atones as the blood of a 
sacrifice.^ 

It is further maintained that the appearance of 
leprosy on the body of a man is the very altar of atone- 
ment.' Hence the dictum, "Beloved is suffering, for 
as sacrifices are atoning, so is suffering atoning." 
Nay, suffering has even a greater atoning effect than 
sacrifice, inasmuch as sacrifice affects only man's 
property, whilst suffering touches his very self.* "Who 
caused the son to be reconciled to his father (in 
heaven), if not suffering?" * "Therefore, let man re- 
joice in suffering more than in prosperity," for it is 
suffering through which he receives pardon and for- 
giveness.' "If thou seekest for life, hope for suffer- 
ing," as it is said, "And reproof of chastisement (is) 
the way of life" (Prov. 6 s).* Indeed, the good son 
does not even pray that the suffering should cease, but 
says, "Father, continue thy chastisement." ' This suf- 
fering has to be a sacrifice accompanied by repentance. 
The sufferer has to accept the suffering prayerfully and 
in a spirit of submission, and has to recognise that the 
visitation of God was merited by him. Man knows well 
in his heart when weighing his deeds with the suffering 
which came upon him that he was dealt with merci- 
fully.* Indeed, the great difference between Israel and 

1 Sec CJkuI/in, lb. * Sifre, ibid. 

« See Berachoth, 5 *. • Si/re, 73 b. 

• See Sifre^ 73 b and reference given there. • M, 7*., 16. 

▼ Sec Minor TVactote, Stmachoth, 8. • Sifre, ibid. 



'ne UrcJ," etc. , 

'^hc atonemcn 

^ ''«-• suffering J 

^ the generatio 

^'^'J sufferers a< 

ngftteous life or 1 

«e afflictions wi 

^Jeath of the tighte, 

"^^^s* "Theyar 

generation, jf the 

'he scJiooIs (that i^ 

«"ght for the sins 

«^«' applied to Mo. 

^re li'e sins of n,an 

«g iumself as an ai 

f>Wen calf, being n 

I^el, when he s^d 

;« 0/ thy book Ctha't 

'^hich thou hast Writ 

"ess to sacrifice onesel 



FORGIVENESS AND RECONCILIATION 311 

acting in the same way, whilst also some Rabbis would, 
on certain occasions, exclaim, " Behold, I am the atone- 
ment of Israel." ^ This sacrifice is, of course, volun- 
tary. But this is also the case with the sacrifice on 
the part of the children who in some mystical way are 
made to take upon themselves this surety. When 
God was about to give the Torah to Israel, Rab- 
binic legend relates that he asked for some guarantee 
that Israel will on its part fulfil the obligations which 
the Revelation will devolve upon them. Then Israel 
oflFered as such the patriarchs and the Prophets, but 
they were not found suflSciently free from debt (fault- 
less) to be worthy of this confidence. At last they 
oflFered their children, and the Holy One, blessed be 
he, accepted them willingly. But he first asked them, 
"Will you serve as surety for your parents, that they 
fulfil the Torah which I am about to give them, and 
that you will sufiFer in case they do not fulfil it?" 
They said, " Yes." Then the Act of Revelation began, 
which also the children witnessed, even those who were 
still in the embryonic state, when they gave their con- 
sent to each commandment revealed. This is what 
is said, "Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings 
hast thou ordained strength" (Ps. 82).' 

^ See AfecAiUa, 2 a ; Mishnah N^aim, 2 1. Cf. Introduction to 
S. E,f 127. By patriarchs is understood in that place, David. Cf. 2 
Samuel 24 17. Cf. above, p. 52 seq, 

* See Af. T., 8 ; Midrash Cant,^ I 8 and references given there. 
CL also above, pp. 193 and 254. 



lorah and acts of lovii 
One, blessed be he, I 
would be destroyed and 
of the Torah, which i 
after the destruction of 
substitute for sacrifices.' 
tained with regard to a 
take the place of sacrifice 
after the destruction of 
maintained that acts of k 
more important than sac 
made here also to the ai 
dining-table in the househ 
sidered, by reason of the h 
poor, as the altar in the T< 
were brought.* The chas 
the altar; as the altar ate 
so she atones for her houi 



1 /?m4 /fttsJkanoA, iSa. 



xvm 

REPENTANCE: MEANS OF RECONCILIATION 

The prayer of the Psalmist, " Be merciful unto me, 
O God" (Ps. 56 2), is paraphrased by the Rabbis in the 
following way, " Be merciful unto me that I shall not be 
brought to fall by sin, but when I have sinned (God fore- 
fend) be merciful unto me that I may return in repent- 
ance." In another place the same thought is expressed 
in the following way: The Holy One, blessed be he, 
says (unto man), " I made the Evil Yezer. Be care- 
ful that he should not make thee sin ; but if he did 
make thee sin, be eager to do repentance, then I will 
forgive thy sins." And as we have seen, repentance 
is the remedy offered by the Holy One, blessed be he, 
himself.^ As it must further be clear from the preced- 
ing remarks, it is practically considered a necessary ac- 
companiment of all other modes of atonement. Indeed, 
it would seem as if repentance is the only means 
of cleanmg the guilty, though God is long-suffering, 
and forgiving iniquity and transgresaons.' Its im- 

^ Af. T., 57 1. See also i^id,, 32 : 4. See Montefiore (as abore, 
p. 2S9, note i) OB the subject. 

' See Stfre Zula as communicated in the name of Ben Asai in 
Mm». Ji^ 117. Cf. Yoma, 86 a, and Afidrash Prov., 10. The interpre- 
tation is based on Exod. 34 7, where the Rabbis, in a homiletical wmy» 
leparmted the infinitive of TXpy\ from the verb TXpT kS. 

313 



•\^ A • ^ A 



(endure) until he ha 
the early commentator 
is so constituted that 
existence would therefc 
out the remedy of repc 
explanation is anothei 
book, running thus : " I 
could never have existed 
was created (first), anc 
stretches out his right I 
day.' The sages said, 
the Evil Yezer he begai 
cure before the affliction 
God not only created 
to instruct mankind in 
right is the Lord, thereft 
way" (Ps. 258). This\^ 
the way of repentance 

^ See Gen, ^., i 4, and /Vj 



REPENTANCE: MEANS OF RECONCILIATION 315 

anner.* In other places, the Rabbis speak of the 
"doors of repentance," or "the gates of repentance," 
which are likewise opened by God himself.' Such a 
"door" God opened to Adam after his fall, saying unto 
him, "Do repentance," but of this offer he did not 
avail himself; whereupon he was expelled from Para- 
dise.* Adam only learned the force of repentance from 
his son Cain, whom God established as a "mark" 
(or standard, example) for penitence.* He then sub- 
mitted to a course of repentance and prayed, "Lord 
of the world, remove my sin from me and accept my 
repentance, so that all generations should learn that 
there is repentance and that thou hast accepted the 
repentance of those who return unto thee." * It is 
further recorded that God gave warning (by certain 
phenomena in nature) and opportunity for repentance 
to the generation of the deluge,* the generation of the 
Tower of Babel, ^ as well as to the men of Sodom • in 

* See/er. Makkoth, 31 d\ P, K,, 158 b ; M. 71, 25 10 ; and Yaliut 
Machiri to this verse. Cf. Sanhedrin^ 105 a^ on Isa. 28 : 26, 1d"lV. 

' See P, X.9 157 tf ; Deut, ^.y 2 is and references. See also M. 
Gr&ibaam, GesammelU Aufiatte^ etc., pp. 505 seq, and 510 seq, 

* See Gen. ^., 21 6 ; P. P.^ 26 b^ text and notes. 
^ See Gen. R,, 22 is and is. 

» See P. R, E., ch. 20 ; cf. Erubin, 18 * and Tan,, mtn, § 9. This 
is in contradiction with another Agadic statement which describes 
Renben, the first-bom of Jacob, as the first man to do repentance. 
Cf. Gen. R,, 82 11 and 84 10. 

* See A. R, N., i as and reference given there. 
^ See Gen. R., 38 9. 

* See Gen, ^., 49 e ; cf. also Tarn, rO, 18, and ffm, 15. 



evil bcha\iour and tc 

it is stated that the 

the destruction of the 

for not less than tl 

it removed from the 1 

a day, "Return, ye 1 

heal your backslidings 

was destroyed, God pi 

exterminate the Evil 

to sin, so that they d 

rebuilding of my house 

mercy of God is not cc 

blessed be he, hoping 

that they might do re 

them near under his w: 

The example set by ( 

eration of the sinner) i 

by Aaron, who prayed 

they might become peni 



1 e 



REPENTANCE: MEANS OF RECONCIUATION 317 

the Saint Abba Hilkia had certain outlaws in his 
neighbourhood for whose death he prayed, but 
his wife prayed that they might return to repentance, 
and that her actions were approved by signs from 
heaven.^ 

It is further assumed that great moral catastrophes 
were almost providentially brought about with the 
purpose of setting the good example to sinners that no 
sin is so great as to make repentance impossible. As 
such examples, are cited : David, who committed the 
sin of adultery; and the whole congregation of Israel, 
the contemporaries of Moses, who worshipped the 
golden calf. Neither David nor Israel, considering 
their high moral standing, were, the Rabbis declare, 
capable of such crimes, but it was brought about agsunst 
their own will, as just stated, to give a claim for repent- 
ance in the future both in the case of the individual, 
as David, and in the case of the whole community, 
as that of the golden calf, in which the whole of 
Israel was involved, and thus showing that there is no 
room for despair of reconciliation with God, be the 
sin never so great and all-embracing.' Indeed, David 
became a "witness to the people," bearing evidence to 
the power of repentance, for "he who is desirous to do 
repentance has only to look at David." Hence, he 

^ See Taaniih, 23 b, Cf. Berachoth^ 10 a, the story of R. Meir and 
Bemiya* 

* See Abodah Zarah^ 4 b and 5 a^ text and commentaries ; cf. 
iSloMoM, 65 a. 



1.-^ u|K- rica even whei 
the exjjression of real 
brou;'ht alx)ul onlv h\ 
to atone for crimes o 
case is particularly th 
kiah, the wicked KL 
according to the testii 
series of the most atn 
and 2 Chron. 33 2 seq,] 
ing his captivity in E 
no idol he failed to i 
that thev were of no hi 
that my father made 
tribulation, and all th< 
even in the latter davj 
Gody and shalt be ob 
Lord thy God is a me 
thee, neither destroy th 
invoke him. If he will 
declare that all Power 



^ . J. — ■« J I 



REPENTANCE: MEANS OF RECONCILIATION 319 

for a man who placed an image in the very Hechal 
(sanctuary) ? ' (2 Kings 217 and 2 Chron. 33 7) . Then 
the Holy One, blessed be he, said, *If I accept not 
his repentance, I thereby shut the door against 
all other penitents.' He then dug for Manasseh's 
repentance a special passage from below the Throne 
of Glory (over which the angels have no control) and 
through this was heard Manasseh's supplication." ^ 
" Thus, if a man would tell thee that God receives not 
the penitents, behold Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, 
he will bear evidence that no creature in the world 
ever committed before me so many wicked deeds as 
he did, yet in the moment of repentance I received 
him." * Some Rabbis even resented the apparently 
ancient tradition excluding Manasseh from the bliss 
of the world to come, inasmuch as it may have the 
effect to "weaken the hand of penitence," that is, to 
make sinners despair of the efficacy of repentance.' 
Of Jeroboam it is said that the Holy One, blessed be 
he, laid hold of him and said, " Return (in repentance), 
and I and the son of Jesse and thou shall walk together 
in Paradise." The conceit of Jeroboam, however, 

1 See P, AT., 162 a and ^ ; cf. /er, Sanhedrin^ 78 r, and B, T. 
Sanhtdrin, 103 a ; Lev, R., 30 8 ; Deui. R., 2 90 ; Rulk R., 5 i« ; 
P. R, E,, ch. 43; and Targum to Chron. ^ a. /. See also Ag. Ber., ch. 9, 
and Sifre, 144 b, Cf. also Af, 71, 4 : 5, where the statement is more 
general, but is based on the Manasseh legend. 

* Sec Num, R,, 14 1 and references. Cf. also Gtn, R,, ed. Wilna, 
Appendix on the Blessing of Jacob, p. 376, col. 2, the story there 
about Cain. * Sanhidrin^ 103 a^ 



•'-v.ttl t/ll. high. 

'n a state of shv. 

"'rough the moti, 

relations to his Fj 

This considerat 

*°« which migh, 

'^'"tent, had aJso 

« the Rabbis whj 

b«^nefit of those v 

^«' the restitutio 

dishonest way was : 

evtT '° '^P*^ '» 
;^^n for the cattle^ 

"^publicans, whose 

^ause of their ph 

^^;^h-^ they are nofi 

to make their r»r^ 
also that th! ^^ 

I«^l in order that tl 



REPENTANCE: MEANS OF RECONCILIATION 321 

We find even that friendly relations were entertained 
with sinners in the hope that intercourse with saintly 
men would engender in them a thought of shame and 
repentance. Thus it is said of Aaron the High Priest, 
who "did turn many away from iniquity" (Mai. 2 e), 
when he met a wicked man he would offer him his 
greetings. When the wicked man was about to com- 
mit a sin, he would say to himself, "Woe unto me, how 
can I lift my eyes and see Aaron? I ought to be 
ashamed before him who gave me greetings." And 
he would then desist from sin.^ It was also forbidden 
to say to the penitent, " Remember thy actions of former 
days," such a reference to the former depraved life of 
the penitent being considered an oppression and coming 
under the Scriptural prohibition of, " Ye shall therefore 
not oppress one another: but thou shalt fear thy God: 
Ux I am the Lord, your God" (Lev. 25 17).' 

The objection of the angels to the admittance of 
repentance is not confined to such extraordinary cases 
as the one of Manasseh. As it would seem, they op- 
pose repentance in general. " When a man commits a 
transgression, the angels come and denoimce him, and 
say, 'Master of the Universe, bow down thy heavens, 
O Lord, and come down: touch the moimtains and 
they shall smoke,' etc. (that is, they demand immediate 

* A, R, M, 24 d, Cf. SanAedrin, 37 a, the atory of R. Zerm, who 
entertained certain relations with the outlaws in his neighbourhood 
lor the same purpose. 

* See Ba^ Afezia, 58 6. 

Y 



admittance of rcj 
attribute of strict 
Divine attribute of 
loved by the Holy 
to overrule his own 
the Torah, "Whei 
married her, and 1 
her, then let him 
And if the later hi 
bill of divorcement, 
sent her away cann< 
after she is defiled " ( 
not so ^ith the Hoi 
they have forsaken 
said unto them, " Dc 
me and I will receiv 
God which is stretche 
the pleading of angel 

1 See Af. r., 944; sec 
a better readina »i-w:..»- - 



REPENTANCE: MEANS OF RECONCILIATION 323 

the view of the Prophets demanding punishment by 
death, and the decision of the Torah, demanding at 
least a sacrifice. The " right hand " represents the attri- 
bute of mercy, which is also called "the strong hand," 
inasmuch as it has to repress the attribute of strict 
justice.* This suggests that the admittance of repent- 
ance is an act of grace on the part of God, as forgiveness 
in general is. "There is no creature which is not in 
debt (or rather guilty) to God, but he is merciful and 
gracious and forgives the sins of the past," when suc- 
ceeded by repentance.' When the Holy One, blessed 
be he, said to the Torah, "Let us make man in our 
image after our likeness," the Torah answered, " Mas- 
ter of all worlds, the world is thine, but the men thou 
desirest to create are *of few days and full of trouble* 
and will fall into the power of sin, and if thou wilt not 
defer thy anger, it is better for him (man) that he should 
not come to the world." Then the Holy One, blessed 
be he, said to her, "Is it for naught that I am called 
long-sufiFering and abundant in goodness?" * "I am," 
says God, "the same (in my attribute of mercy) before 
man sins and (the same in my attribute of mercy) after 
man has sinned, if he will do repentance." * Indeed, 

1 See Si/re, 50 6. « Sec ExoJ, R., 31 1. 

' See P, P, £,, ch. 12, text and notes of Loria, especially bis reference 
to ch. 3, iHd. The connection of the attribute of long-suffering with 
repentance is also given in P./iT., 161 d, with allusion to Joel 2 is. Cf. 
Gen. I 96; Exod. 34 7; Job 8 1. 

* See PosA //osAanaA, 17 ^ ; cf. P,P,, 145. The text forms an inter- 
pretation to Exod. 34 6, referring to the two mentions of the Tetra- 



live" (5 4), is conside 
sinner even receives t 
repentance entered uj 
(of God) his very in 
generated life will be 
merits.' 

The verse from Amo 
" My children, what do 
you shall live." * It is,'i 
message; but it assumes 
man to break with his sin 
ance is, as just pointed c 
in other such cases, ace 
tion expected on the pan 
ment is given to the peni 
stand in the way of the re 
tion with God. "Said tl 

grmmmatoii in that retie, whid 
binic litermtare, the attribute of 

ihoold be amended to nariO. Tl 
IS one of CiriA*' - 



REPENTANCE: MEANS OF RECONCILIATION 32$ 

to Jeremiah, ' Go and bid Israel to do repentance.' He 
went and delivered his message. Thereupon they said 
to him, 'With what face can we enter before his pres- 
ence? Have we not made him angry; have we not 
provoked his wrath? Are not those mountains and 
hills on which we worshipped the idols, still existing? 
We lie down in our shame and our confusion covers 
us.' He came back to the Holy One, blessed be he, 
and said so (repeating their answer). Then God said 
to him, 'Go back and tell them, "If you return to me, 
is it not to your Father in Heaven to whom you come? 
For I am a Father to Israel, and Ephraim is my first- 
bom." ' " * Nor must man despair because of the quan- 
tity of his sins. When David, and after him Ezra, said, 
" Our iniquities are increased over our heads and our 
trespass is grown up to the heavens," the Holy One, 
blessed be he, answered, "Fear not because of this 
thing, even if they (the sins) reached the very heaven, 
and if you do repentance, I will forgive; and not only 
the first heaven . . . but even if they reached the very 
Throne of Glory, and if you will do repentance, I will 
receive you at once (as it is said) : ' O Israel, return unto 
the Lord thy God' (Hos. 14 1). " ' In another place, the 
words " unto thy God " are interpreted to refer to the 
quality of sins, be they even of such a nature that they 
touched the very Deity itself, as, for instance, when man 

1 See P. /T., 165 a ; cf. also Jer. 3 «» 31 9t and Hofea 4 it. See 
alio Tan. B,f Introduction, 68 d and 69 a, 
* See P. R^ 155 a\ cf. Fft. 38 6; Ezra 9 6. 



laltcT insist that he sh< 
lie. '' Hut with the H( 
so. Man rises and bl. 
But the Holy One, blej 
repentance between th 
thee.'" * And when Isr 
sin, says, " Master of tl 
if we shall do repentant 
have received the repent* 
ance of Ahab . . . the n 
thoth . . . the repentanc 
. . . the repentance of Ma 
Jehoiachin, against all oi 
heavy decrees, shall I not 
indeed, even as DaN-id s 
thou art a great God and 
is only becoming for the 
forgive the great sins."' 

Thus neither the quanti 
sins, need make man hesil 
to repentance. He has or 
the "door" with t^^ -^-^ 



REPENTANCE: MEANS OP RECONCILIATION 327 

it will be widely opened for his admittance. Thus said 
the Holy One, blessed be he, to Israel, "Open unto 
me the door of repentance, be it even as narrow as the 
sharp point of a needle, and I will open it so wide that 
whole wagons and chariots can pass through it." * 
Indeed, it would seem that this Divine call of repentance 
implies also a certain mutual repentance, so to speak, 
or returning on the part of God, who meets Israel half- 
way. "It is to be compared to the son of a king 
who was removed from his father for the distance of a 
hundred days' journey. His friends said to him, 
* Return unto your father,' whereupon he rejoined, * I 
cannot.' Then his father sent a message to him, 
' Travel as much as it is in thy power, and I will come 
unto you for the rest of the way.' And so the Holy 
One, blessed be he, said, 'Return unto me and I will 
return unto you' (Mai. 37)."' In another place, 
with reference to a Korahite's Psalm (55 7), we read, 
"The sons of Korah said, *How long will you say, 
"Turn, O backsliding chUdren"?' (Jer. 314) whilst 
Israel said, 'Return, O Lord, how long?' (Ps. 9015). 
. . . But neither thou (God) wilt return by thyself, nor 
will we return by ourselves, but we will return both to- 
gether as it is said, * Turn us, O God of our salvation. 

^ See Cant, /f., 5 2 and 6, and P. K,^ 163 b, text and notes. See 
also Targum a. /. 

^ See P. B,f 1S4 ^ and 185 a ; see also ibid., 144 a, the comparison 
with the sick prince, where it would seem that God takes the initiatiye 
of returning to Israel on his part. 



quality of sins can pi 

certain modifications in 

important, though som 

following: "Five are i 

who repeatedly does rei 

he who sins in a rightc 

with the intention to rej 

hands (on his conscience) 

the Name of God." ' Tl 

obscure and undoubtedly < 

groups of numbers, it prol 

Tannaitic statements, scatti 

ture, bearing on the subject 

As such, the following ma) 

elucidation of the text ju2 

will sin and repent, I will : 

make it possible for him 

given in the Talmud the ] 

a man has committed the i 
him o ♦^-- 



REPENTANCE: MEANS OF RECONCILIATION 329 

to leave oflF doing it.* The same sentiment is expressed 
elsewhere in the following words, " Let not a man say, 
*I shall commit ugly deeds and things unworthy and 
will then bring a bull that has much flesh which I will 
sacrifice upon the altar and then God will have mercy 
upon me and accept me as a penitent.' " * In another 
place, we read, "He who causes the multitudes to sin, 
they do not make it possible for him to do repentance." ■ 
As to the profanation of the Name of God, we have the 
statement that "for him who has committed this sin, 
there is no power in repentance to suspend (the punish- 
ment), nor in the Day of Atonement to atone, nor in 
suffering to purify," full forgiveness only being obtained 
when the sinner dies.* For the whole of the Torah 
was only given with the purpose to sanctify his 
Great Name.* From these illustrating passages it will 
be readily seen that the statement that certain trans- 
gressions are excluded from forgiveness means in most 
cases that these transgressions arc of such a nature that 
man is not likely to enter upon a course of real repent- 
ance such as would be followed by forgiveness. Some- 

* See Yomat 87 a. 

^ See Lev, R.^ 2 la. See also commentaries. See also S,E,t p. 36. 

* See Abothf 5 is. See also A, R, N.t(30b', Yoma^ 87 a ; and Tosephta 
Ycma, 4. See also Soiah, 47 a. This may perhaps be the meaning of 
the clause in A, R, M, ** He who sins in a righteous generation," that 
u» the generation by itself is righteous, but is caused to sin by his crim- 
inal example. 

* See Mechilta, 69 a ; Yomaf 86 a. 

* See S. E^t p. 74. 



oi oeiienna, continue t 
This is even more di 
of numbers commencin 
things prevent repenta 
of those just mention 
accustomed to slander; 
who entertains evil tho 
the wicked; he who lo 
with thieves; he who sa 
sin and repent; he whc 
(expense) of his neighbc 
from the community; 
he who curses the many 
from doing charity; he 
leave the good way for 
use of the pledge of the p 
with the purpose of ma 
who finds lost goods and • 

^SttAf. 7lt I « ; ct Voma^ 

* See ErtMm, ig a, and Af, 
» Reading vrvm instead of 

* Perhaps we ihoold read . 
**hewho nnt« • -• — •-'' 



REPENTANCE: MEANS OF RECONCILIATION 331 

he who sees his children embracing a depraved life 
and does not protest; he who eats the plunder of the 
poor and the widows; * he who criticises the words of 
the wise man; he who suspects upright men; he who 
hates admonition ; and he who scoffs at the command- 
ments. Of these the Scripture says, 'Make the heart 
of the people fat, and make their eyes heavy, and shut 
their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with 
their ears, and imderstand with their heart, and con- 
vert, and be healed'" (Is. 610).' But as it is rightly 
pointed out by the authorities, it is not because real 
repentance is unacceptable, but because the nature of 
these sins is such that they are so habitual, or so little 
conspicuous, that man hardly looks upon them as sins; 
or because of the diflBculties in the way of making 
proper restitution. Maimonides, who in his Law of 
Repentance gives the above passage with some com- 
ments, distinctly adds that though these things delay 
repentance, they do not make it impossible. "If a 
man does return, he is considered a penitent, and has 
a share in the world to come." * 

^ Reading TV instead of "11V (ox). There is, however, some jus- 
tification for this latter reading. See Job 24 s. 4. 

^ See Maimonides, nSIVri, ch. 4. This group is also known to 
many of the earlier post-Talmudic authorities, such as A//asi, the 
Machsor Vitri, and others. The original source is unknown, but 
there can be but little doubt that it formed once a part of the Minor 
Tractate. See Friedmann, D^nCD3 pp. 7 and 8, and his remarks there, 
on which the reader will find the authority for the corrections given in 
the text See also Friedmann, ibid,, p. 8, for the expression cited in 
note 47. * See Maimonides, iHd,, at the end of the chapter. 



It is God himself who 
(Exod. lo 1). And the 
under these conditions 
his power to do repentac 
"after the Holy One, b 
warning three times (to ( 
return, God shuts his hea 
to punish him for his sii 
blessed be he, hoped (wai 
will do repentance, if the) 
their heart so that they 
want to. Nay, he makei 
pray." ' This is in agreei 
of the Rabbis, according to 
for three times, but then 
fourth time,* and cases ar 
voices from heaven giving 
there is no hope for them, 
selves such outcasts that 

1 Sec ExoH n . — 



REPENTANCE: MEANS OF RECONCILIATION 333 

earth, to mountains and hills, to sun, moon, and planets, 
to pray for them, which, however, decline/ Legend 
also records that the Prophet Elisha made a special 
journey to Damascus to cause Gehazi (who is supposed 
to have stirred up people to worship idols) to do repent- 
ance, but that Gehazi referred him to a tradition which 
he had from the Prophet himself, that they do not 
make it possible for him to do repentance who causes 
others to sin.* It seems also that where reparation was 
impossible, repentance was also regarded as unaccept- 
able. Such cases are : the robbery of the public, as for 
instance, the man who gives a false measure, since he 
cannot well reach those whom he cheated,' and murder* 
and adultery,* since the wrongs resulting from these sins 
can never be rectified. 

All these qualifications, however, have to be taken 
as mere hyperboles, emphasising and intensifying the 
evil consequences of sin, and the difficulty of doing 
real repentance. The general rule is that accepted by 
all authorities, that there is nothing which can stand in 
the way of the penitent, be the sin ever so great,* or as 

^ See Chagigahf 25 a, and Abodah Zarah^ 17 a. 
3 Sotah^ 47 a, 

* Baba Bathra, 88 b, lAJebamoth^ 21 «• 
^ Sanhedrin^ 7 a. 

* See Chagigah, 9 a and b, zxid. febamoth^ 32 b, 

* T, /. Peaht 17 ^ ; R. Saadya Gaon, mim nWOK, 50. See also 
Maimonides, Teshubah, 33 14. Cf. Sefer CAasidim, Parma, p. 38. See 
also the JResponsa of R. David b. Zimra, 2 46, in the section on Mai- 
monidei. A peculiar case is that given in the JResponsa of R. Joseph 



there is no hope (of res 
but let him put his conlk 
be he, and he will be rec 
is the assertion of the u. 
heaven telling man that 
ance should not be obey 
himself that man should t 
prayers and supplications, 
until he finds admittance 
ance.' 

As to the nature of repent 
suggests, first of all the ret 
that is, a strong determinati 
to break with sin. To ent< 
ance and not to leave off s 
man who enters a bath wil 
himself of a Lentical impi 
hands the dead reptile whi 

Trmni (2:8), where the sinner cnt*< 
of th^ ♦» 



REPENTANCE: MEANS OF RECONCILIATION 335 

impurity. " What shall he do ? Let him throw away 
the thing impure and then take the bath and he shall 
be purified." * In the addresses to the people on fast 
days, the elder would say, among other things, " My 
brethren, it is not sackcloth and fasts which cause for- 
giveness, but repentance and good deeds: for so we 
find of the men of Nineveh, that it is not said of them 
that God saw their sackcloth and fasts, but that ' God 
saw their works that they turned from their evil way' 
(Jonah 3 10)." » 

Repentance begins in thought, and its effect is in- 
stantaneous.' But it is further followed up by words 
of confession. As Maimonides puts it, '^ Repentance 
means that the sinner gives up the sin, removing it 
from his mind, and determining in his heart not to 
repeat the evil action again; and so also he must 
regret his past ... he must also confess with his lips 
and give expression to the thoughts which he determined 
in his heart." * The regret includes the feeling of 
shame, for '^ to him who commits a transgression and 

1 See P, P^ 182 b. The limile with the reptile occun first in 
Tose^Ua Taanith, I. Qi, Jer. Taanith^ 65^; Lament, P,, 38; and 
B, T, Taanith, 16 a, 

> Taanith, 16 a, 

* See P. P,, 185 a ; P. K,, 163 b ; cf. Kiddushin, 49 b, and GiUin^ 
57 b, Cf. M. T.f 45 : 4. The Rabbinic expression is, *' He thought (or 
conceived) the thought of repentance in his heart (or in his mind)." 
See above, p. 31. 

^ See Maimonides, nSIVri, 2 s, and ibid.^ I 1. Cf. also Ckagigah^ 
5 a, that forgiveness depends on regret on the part of the sinner. Cf. 
Dan. 7 7 and 8 ; Ezra 9 e. 



sne said, "I have not s 
"I have sinned," no ai 
him.* That David (afi 
eternal life was becaus 
For he who knows that 
sin and fears the sin anc 
it between him and the £ 
receive forgiveness.* Anc 
upon whom God will ha\ 
have confessed their sin 
waters of Marah, Israel y^ 
to their Father in Heaver 
father, and a disciple who 
unto him, '' Master of the ik 
thee when we murmured on 
becomes an essential featu 



* See//r. TanUk, 65 dl CL Ai 

* See Tam. B.,2n6; cf. Jer. ; 

* See Tan. ^ - 



REPENTANCE: MEANS OF RECONCILIATION 337 

the various kinds of atonements,^ at the same time ex- 
pressive of the determination of man to leave ofiF sin- 

^ The most important Halachic aspect of this institution is given in 
Maimonides, Teshubah., 11. " If a person has transgressed any law in 
the Torah, be it affirmative or prohibitive, whether intentionally or un- 
intentionally, he is under the obligation of confession before the Lord, 
blessed be he ; as it is said, When a man or a woman commit any sin, 
etc, 'then they should confess their sin' (Num. 5 6 and 7), by which 
is meant the confession in words. This confession is an affirmative 
command. How do they confess ? One says, ' O God, I have sinned, 
I have perverted, I have rebelled against thee. I have committed 
such and such an action, and behold, I regret it and am ashamed of 
my deeds and never will I return to that thing.' These are the 
contents of confession. . . . Likewise, those who bring a sin-offering 
or a guilt-offering (for sins) committed, intentionally or unintention- 
ally, are not atoned for by their sacrifices until they have done repent- 
ance and uttered confession ; as it is said, ' And he shall confess 
that he has sinned ' (Lev. 55 6). LikcMrise, those who are under the 
sentence of death or of receiving thirty-nine lashes are not atoned for 
by their execution or by the fact of their having received the lashes, 
unless they have first done repentance and confessed. Likewise, he 
who injured his neighbour (bodily) or damaged him in money matters, 
though he made restitution for what he owed him, is not atoned for 
until he confessed and determined never to repeat the offence." The 
statement in Maimonides is based on Sifre ZtUa, reproduced in the 
Yalkut^ I. § 701, and partially also in Numb, R^ 8 6. Cf. also Fried- 
mann, Mechilta, 121 3, the quotation given there from Maimonides, 
nODDTI "^BD, and Horowitz, Monatsschrift (1906), pp. 76 and 77. See 
also 7*. AT., 24 b ; Sanhedrin^ 43 b\ and Sifrt^ 2a, Whether those who 
are about to die a natural death are also included in the duty of confes- 
sion as derived by the Rabbis from Num. 5 6, depends largely on the 
reading tTrai& (killed) (executed) or D^n& (djring) in the Si/re and 
Si/re Ztita, referred to, which is difficult to determine, though there is 
good authority for the latter reading. Cf. R. Isaac Ibn Guiath, HMO 
D^W, 2 SB 3. In any event, the institution of confession before death 
(even natural) is very ancient. See Skabbaikt 32 b ; Tractate Sema* 
ckoih ZutarH, ed. C. M. Horowitz, pp. 30-31, text and the reference 
z 



{ 



- w*xo sense tl 

twn «.,th God. "Ta 
.^ the Urd" (Hos. r; 

Offerings, but a ernJ 

**^» there in the ««. 

•^» from d,e eo« ° '* ^« -^ 

»» the Cy „, .°„„^'* 3« V 

See Jv. r u7' ^*'^'*' ' ••) J 
'^'«hout the who. ^^' *^ ^"^ 
•Aboutthe *• ^«^- 

in their -!i:*;. • ^•' '^ A text .n^ . 



REPENTANCE: MEANS OF RECONCILIATION 339 

as Maimonides explains it, that the penitent should 
constantly cry before God with tears and supplication.* 
Neither, however, the determination to leave off 
sin nor the regret of the past and the shame and con- 
fusion of sin expressed in confession and prayer seem 
to have been deemed a suflScient guarantee against a re- 
lapse into the former habits of sin. As R. Saadya Gaon 
remarks, we may fairly rely on the great majority of our 
people that during their prayer and fast they do really 
mean to forsake sin and regret it, and seek atonement ; 
but what the Gaon is afraid of is, repetition, that is, 
relapse into sin. The Rabbis, therefore, think that 
this claim to real exemption from any particular sin can 
only be maintained after the penitent had twice at least 
the full opportunity to commit the sin under which he 
was labouring during his unregenerate life, and escaped 
from it.* Fasting is also mentioned together with re- 
pentance, indeed, following closely upon repentance; 
as it is said, " Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn 
ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and 
with weeping, and with mourning " ' (Joel 2 12), but they 
deal treacherously who fast without doing repentance, 
and shall be put to shame.^ It is in conformity with 

^ See Maimonides, rDWlly 2 4. 

* See Yonuif 86 6. Some of the best authorities omit the word 
•* twice." See above, p. 333, note 6, the reference to R. Saadya. 

* J/. 71, 25 6, with allusion to Ps. 25 s. 

* Midrash Prav., 6: 4. There can be little doubt that the copyist 
shortened the quotation from the Bible, omitting verse 12, on which the 
interpretation of the Midrash is based. See also above, p. 308, for 



regular feature of the \ 
Rabbinic literature.* 

But repentance is nc 
nor to a particular t 
repentance on the deatl 
wicked all his days and 
will receive him.' "F< 
Holy One, blessed be 
when he dies his hope p 
wicked man dies his hop 
denying the possibility of 
their death even if they 
this world is like the vest 
who has not prepared h 
shall he come into the hall 
"Leave us, and we sha 

the qaotation pven there with re 
ber of references might easily be 

^ See SanM^drin^ 25 a ; d Sa 
section .13*Vn. See especially In 
of Worms, with his fonr kinds 
by any number of moralists writii 

• See /Tf^i/-"*- 



REPENTANCE: MEANS OF RECONCILIATION 341 

One, blessed be he, says unto them, "Repentance is 
possible only before death." * 

But this death-bed repentance is not regarded as re- 
pentance of the highest order, though it may secure 
final salvation. "Blessed be he who does repentance 
when he is still a man" (possessing still his manly 
vigoiu:).' The saying of the sage was, "Repent one 
day before thy death," but when his disciples asked 
him, "How does man know which day he will die?" 
he answered, "The more reason that he should repent 
every day lest he shall die on the following day, so that 
all his life is spent in repentance." • Hence, the benedic- 

^ See Midrash Prov,^ ch. 6; EccUs, /^., 1:15 and 7:15* and 
P, R, E^ ch. 43, text and commentaries. This is the generally ac- 
cepted view by almost all Jewish moralists. Cf. commentaries to Aboth 
4: 16 and 17, and the Books of Discipline {Si/re Mussar) generally. 
There is, however, a statement in the name of R. Joshua b. Levi, ac- 
cording to which the wicked will do repentance in the Gehenna and 
justify upon themselves the judgement of God, which repentance will * 
contribute to their salvation in the end. As it is clear, however, from 
other Talmudic passages, this promise does not extend to all classes of 
•inners. See Tosafoth and EdeUs^ a. /. The saying of R. Joshua b. 
Levi may also have some connection with the Purgatory state after 
the wicked have already suffered for a time. There is also a whole 
circle of later Agadoth in which the wicked in the Gehenna secure a 
release by their answering " Amen ** after the Kaddish^ to be recited 
by Zerubbabel on the Day of Judgement succeeding the Resurrec- 
tion. ( ?) See Friedmann, D^nBD3, pp. 32, 33, text and notes and 
reference given there to Yalktii and Beth I/ammidrash, ed. Jellinek. 
Cf. the controversy between the Schools of Hillel and Shammai, Rosk 
Hashanak, ij a. See also Nachmanides' Shaar HaggemuL 

* See Abodah Zarah, iga, 

* See Aboth, 2 10. Cf. Skabbath, 153 a, and EccUs, R., I 7. 



ing, "Return, ye be 
however, seems to hi 
nine days forming a ; 
ment, which, includii 
Ten Penitential Days. 
Year's Day — the first 
shall utter his voice" t 
which is an invitation 
Ten Penitential Days 
time of grace "to see 
found."* The Day ol 
but it would have no a 
ance. These Ten Pen 
by special liturgies anc 

> See Schechter,/. Q, R^ i 
p. 299. Cf. Lam. 5 n. The t 
and lubstitates for it, "Came 
Law ; draw us near, O our 
back in perfect repentance ni 
See Singer, p. 46; Baer, p. 9a 

• See P. R. E.y ch. 15 and . 

■ See Tan,., rPSTT, 2 ; cf. i 

« See Rosh Haihanah, 18 c 
also /^ ^-** • 



REPENTANCE: MEANS OP RECONCIUATION 343 

But they are only set apart, as already indicated, as a 
special time of grace, but not as the only days of re- 
pentance. For repentance is as wide as the sea, and 
as the sea has never closed and man can always be 
cleansed by it, so is repentance, so that whenever man 
desires to repent, the Holy One, blessed be he, receives 
him.^ 

^ See P, AT., 157 a, and M, T^ 65 4 and references. 



ADDITIONS AND CORRECTIONS 

Page 21 seq.f and p. 49, Note a. In connection with the contents of 
the 2d chapter, and p. 49, Note 3, see Dr. N. I. Weinstein's Zitr 
Genesis der Agada, Frankfurt, 1901. More important in con- 
nection with these contents is Dr. David Neumark's learned 
GeschichU der Judischen PhUosophie des MiUelaUers, Berlin, 1907, 
especially the first chapters of this volume, which only appeared 
recently, when our text was nearly finished in press. 

Page 26. Cancel " stay of the world," and corresponding note. 

Page 55, Note i. See Si/re, 113 a, and J ebamoth,4&b, with reference 
to Deut. 21 : 13, where the words hdm phi noM nn are explained 
to mean ry (her former idols). As a proof is given Jer. 2 : 2y, 
"Saying to a stock, thou art my father; and to a stone, thou 
hast brought me forth." If this explanation refiected the pagan 
usage of the Tannaitic time, which is not impossible, we might 
easily explain the fact that some Rabbis, at least, were sparing 
with the epithet Father in reference to the Deity. 

Page 57, Note i. See also R. Joseph Ibn Yachya in Torah Or^ ch. 
77, where he speaks of two fundamental doctrines, T13 njioMn 
niDiKHD unSii kSi ^DV "^^^ uruKen nvuSnaD \rhv ]>m tj^hSk hvw. 

Page 100, Note i. Attention should be called to the statement of R. 
Simon b. Lakish, in which the o^or nisSo is contrasted with the 
f "^KH nisSoi and the compliment is even paid to the latter that it 
establishes order and law. See Gen. R. 9 : 13, and Gen, R.^ ed. 
Theodore, p. 73. The context makes it clear that by the King- 
dom of the Earth is meant Rome, but this favourable estimation 
of the Roman Government does not represent the general opinion 
of the Jews. I found also these terms in a Genizah fragment 
from an unknown MechUta to Deuteronomy. In connection with 
this, the following extract from another Genizah fragment is in- 
structing. It forms the conclusion of the third benediction in 
the Grace After Meals in the House of Mourning, and read thus: 
Tj^DO n-^noa |dk u^na |ok .o^Srn^ hk t^Dma njiaa ti nnn ^na 
.SiBP 7xyv\r\ ^Dni lociyD Sj; pD"^Ki o^Smo ntiaj? pani ajia p^x njan 

Page loi, Note 2, and 102, Note 2. It b suggested by various 
writers that the saying of R. Hillel was directed against Chris- 

345 



icsied against Maimonide 
among ihc fundamenial d 
was, as it seems, less dire 
the antinomian tendenci< 
to say that both Albo anc 
vent of Messiah an essent 
damental doctrine. Rasb 
effect that the future reder 
siah, but by God himself, 
little far-fetched, becomes 
Rabbis. Thus, with refere 
of the Lord shall return," 
deemed of the Lord, and 
redeemed of the King Me 
with reference to Deut. 17 
perience Israel had with 
exclaim: "We have no d« 
back our first King, God; 
will save us ' " (Isa. 33 : a: 
3rour life I will do so, as it 
over the earth, etc.'" (Zee 
Wilna edition b mutilated 
Introduction, p. 26.) It is 
passages and similar ones 
Christians. 

Page 165, Note i. Sec rTtviS i 
p. 99, Note 3. The autboi 
of Maimonides with those < 

Page 192-193, Note i. The sta 
ably based on an older Tan 
Cf. Hoffmann, ^vnph '^D2 ^\ 
and notes. 



ADDITIONS AND CORRECTIONS 



347 



purpose of refuting the tendency of making God's judgement 
arbitrary and despotic. 
Page 324, Note 3. Cf. also Berachoih, 34 h, the well-known statement 
of R. Abahu with reference to the high position to be occupied 
by the penitents, even higher than that of the perfect righteous. 
See also Dr. Ginzberg's Genizah Studies, p. 377, reproducing the 
following extract from an unknown Sheelta: — 

o^p^"W pK piDip nawn ^hp2v oipD man ii hj^Sbi 
^jr tS vnr lihxh nawn ^hp2 o^on ^^uni onoip oniDJ 
otSr 'jr njn niannS hx< nrwi • • S awa ^Sn mn o^ja 

.pim ^KD anpSi pvnS oiSr 

The text is defective, but it can hardly be doubted, as Dr. Gins- 
berg points out, ibid,, p. 351, that in its completeness the com- 
parison represented the well-known parable of the prodigal son in 
the N, T, Cf. Num. R., 8 : 2. 
Page 331, Note 2. Instead of " Note 47," read " p. 330, Note 4." 
Page $$$, Note 6. See Mear Enayim, by R. Azaiiah de* Rossi, 
p. 235, ed. Casael. (Wilna, 1866.) 



LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AND BOOKS 
NOT QUOTED WITH FULL TITLE 



Abarbanel, Isaac, nj^v^ jnDVD» K5- 

nigsberg, i860. 
Ag. Ber. = Agadath BereschUh, ed. 

Buber, Cracow, 190a, quoted by 

chapters. 
Agadath Shir. Hashirim, ed. 

Schechter, Cambridge, 1896. 
Albo, Ikkarim, Pressburg, 1853, 

quoted by book and chapter. 
A, R. N. = Aboth de Rabbi Nathan 

recensiones duos, ed. S. Schechter, 

Vienna, 1887, quoted by chap- 
ter or folio. 
Azulai, niDip naiD, Leghorn, 1793, 

printed together with the same 

author's |tk "^^jn. 
Azulai, i]Dy> "^pa^, Leghorn, 1757. 

Bacher, Ag. P. Am. = Die Agada 
der Palaesiinensischen Amorder^ 

I, Strassburg, 1892; 11, f6., 1896; 
III, ib., 1899. 

Bacher, Ag. Tan. = Die Agada der 
Tannailen, I, Strassburg, 1884; 

II, ib., 1890. 

Bacher, Terminologie = Die exege- 

iische Terminologie der jOd. Tra- 

ditionsliteratur^ I-II, Leipzig, 

1899-1905. 
Bachye ibn Bakudah, nuaSn mam 

ed. Sluzki, Warsaw, 1870. 
Bachye ibn Chalwah, nopn la, ed. 

Breit, Lemberg, 1880-92. 
Baer, ^vnv^ mop, Roedelheim, 

1868. 
Berliner, Targum = Targum Onke- 

los, I-II, Berlin, 1884. 
Bdh Talmud, Periodical ed. Fried- 

mann and Weiss, I-V, Vienna, 

1880-89. 
Blau, Zur Einleilung in die Heilige 

Schrifi, Budapest, 1894. 



DE = Derek EreMRabba in the Tal- 
mud, at the end of the fourth 
order. 

DEZ = Derek EreM Zutla, ed. A. J. 
Tawrogi, Kdnigsberg i. Pr., 1885. 

Duran, Simon, Magen Aboi, com- 
mentary to Aboth, Leipzig, 1855. 

Eddes, irwino ^m^n, commentary 

to the Talmud, ed. Wilna. 
Epstein, ^jnn tiSm, Pressburg, 1891. 

Friedmann, ^y^try^ commentary to 
Ezekiel, ch. ao, Vienna, x888. 

Friedmann, o^nooj = nioV o^noDj 
Mt9iT hiSk. Pseudo-Seder Eliahu 
Ziito, Vienna, 1904. 

GinsbuTger, Das Fragmententar" 
gum (Thargum Jeruschalmi mum 
Penlateuch), Berlin, 1899. 

Grilnhut, OHJipSn -^oo, I-VI, Jeru- 
salem, 1898 seq. 

Gtldemann, CuUurgeschichte = Ge- 
schichie des Eniehungswesens und 
der CuUur der abendlaendischem 
Juden, I, Vienna, x88o. 

HechaluM Xm by Osias H. Schorr, 
Vienna, 1889. 

Jellinek, Bel ha-Midrasch, I-IV, 
Leipzig, 1853-57; V-VI, Vienna, 
1873-77. 

Jer = Talmud of Jerusalem quoted 
by treatise, folio, and column of 
ed. Krotoschin, 1866, correspond- 
ing to ed. Venice, ca. 1523. 

Joel, Blicke = Blicke in die Reli- 
gions geschickte tw An fang des 
vweUen christlichen Jahrhunderts, 
I-II, Breslau and Leipzig, x88o- 

83. 



349 



350 LIST OF BOOKS NOT QUOTED IN FULL TITLE 



Jiui.^h H;illr\-i, Kusari, cd. Sluzki, 
L<ip/.i»i, I.^04. 

Kinyjtj Tora^ Sixth chapter of 
AthHh^ Ix i;ig an appendix. 

Lan«i>hut, n^'^a 1^:2 in Edd- 
n:.in:\ 3"^ ivjn ins, Konigsbcrg, 

Lu/./,.itto, 2^"^r' r^'D*:, Warsaw, 
I'^^w- An excclh-nt c<lition with 
(it mm translation by I. Wohl- 
K<:n.i:h apixartHl lately, Berlin, 

M^i'hzor Vitry^ o<J. S. Ilur^'itz, Ber- 
lin, iS<<j-<);5. 

Mainu)ni<K'.>, Mishneh Torak, Wilna, 
I'voo, (|Ui)t«'l by l.>ook, chapter, 
and p.ir.u'raph. 

Mair'ii>:.i'l< s, March Nehuchim^ 
W . I : -. I \v, I .^ 7 2 ; q uotcd by book 
ariri ( l\:i)aT. 

M.iinu) . --tD = r^xiT •^cDwith 

min. inrnnn-ntarii-s, Warsaw, 
T>rji, fjuiii'il !»y the number of 
thi !■:. . . Mts (;•■•: = -irr nxs) or 
pr(jliil>ili';iis (r '^r = K*? ntfs 

Mrihiit.i = Mfihilta dr Rabbi Is- 
wi .', I'!. l"ri».«linar;n, Vienna, 
I.S7C. iij'.t.<l In* f(»lio. 

Mtih:.:: dI R. ^{-.non = Mechilta 
(!■ !■' :' ■ i' .V :";.'»»; /•. JoLh<it\ cd. 
H.i:;"::i.ir.;i. I'r.irikfijrt a. M., 1905, 
(]•.:«.);• <i !)>• fi)lii); iificii also the 
n ■.:•:• I.' ;■ of th,- ver-c i> giwn. 

Ml ii i.wi ( i.i;i'.).ti, 2-1-in p'^ujT, War- 

M.I Id- \f!.ir.i^h H.ic-fHiidoI^ ed. 
S. S. hi'i ;iN r, 1, (ttthsis, Cam- 
i'ri.';.'(. i.joj. Thv olhiT volumes 
;i-i ij.idii- ! from M'^s. in the pos- 
•^' - •■'.III of th,' author. 

Milr,:\li A '.i,!.:li cd. B. = Af^a- 
dischir i'nmmi nt-ir zunt Penta- 
teuch, L(i. liubi T, X'iLiina, 1S94. 



iiidrash Prau. = Midratdk MiseUe, 
cd. Buber, Wilna, 189^ quoced 
by chapter. 

Midrash Skemud B.=Midrasck 
Samud, ed. Bubcr, Cracow, 1893, 
quoted by chapter and paragraph. 

Midrasch Suta^ ed. Bubcr, Berlin, 
X 894, qu(^cd by folio. 

Midrasch Tannaim num DemUr^- 
nomium^ excerpted from the 
M,H.G. by D. Hoffmann, I, Bcr^ 
lin, 1908. 

Mishna, quoted by treatise, chapter, 
and paragraph. Occasionally ed, 
Lowe = The Mishnah on which 
the Palestinian Talmud rests, ed. 
by W. H. Lowe, Cambridge^ 
1883, is referred to. 

J/. T. = Midrasch TehiBim {Scko- 
cher Tob\ ed. Buber, Wilna, 
1 891, quoted by chapter and 
paragraph. 



Nachmanides, Skaar 
Ferrara, 1556. 



Haggemm^ 



Pentateuch with Targum Onkdos, 
Pseudo- Jonathan and Jerushaimi 
and the commentaries of Rashi, 
Ibn Ezra, Nachmanides, etc., ed. 
Nettcr, Vienna, i860. 

P. K. = Pesikta %fon Rah Kahama^ 
ed. Buber, Lyck, 1868, quoted 
by folio. 

P. R. Pesikta Rabbati, ed. Fried- 
mann, Vienna, z88o, quoted by 
folia 

PRE=zPirke Rabbi Eliewer with 
commentary of R. David Loria 
C*"-!-*), Warsaw, 185a, quoted by 
chapter. 

Psrudo- Jonathan {Targum /ono- 
than ben UsiH wum PeniaUmch\ 
ed. Ginsburger, Berlin, 1903. 

Pugio Fidei by Raymundus Siiartini, 
ed. Carpzov, Leipzig, z687« 



LIST OP BOOKS NOT QUOTED IN FULL TITLE 351 



R after the books of the Pentateuch 
or the Five Scrolls means Midrash 
Rabba with many commentaries, 
WiLna, 1878, quoted by chapter 
and paragraph of this edition, 
except for Cant, R., where the 
numbers refer to chapter and verse 
of the Biblical book. The intro- 
ductions in the beginning of I.0- 
merU, R. are quoted with their 
respective numbers. 

R. Rabbinovicz, Variae lediones in 
Mischnam d in Talmud Baby- 
lonicum, I-XV, Munich, 1877-86, 
XVI, Przemysl, 1897. 

ReshUh Chochmah by R. Elijah de 
Vidas, Cracow, 1593. 

Responsa of R. David b. Zimra = 
raivi rrir, II, Venice, 1749- 

Responsa of the Geonim, ed. Har- 
kavy, Berlin, 1887 (Studien und 
MiUheilungen aus der Kaiser- 
lichen OeffenOUhen Bibliothek 
SM, St. Petersburg, IV). 

Responsa of R. Isaac b. Sheshet 
= c^a^nn rrir, Constantinople, 

1547- 
Responsa of R. Josef Trani = 
o^nno mr, Flirth, 1768. 

Saadya, nijni hwidk, Joacfow, 1885. 

S.E. — Seder Eliahu rabba und 
Seder Eliahu %ida {Tanna Sbe 
Eliahu), ed. Friedmann, Vienna, 
1900. Introduction, ib., 1903. 

Seder Rob Amram, Warsaw, 1865. 

Semachoth Zutarii in C. M. Horo- 
witz, Uralte Tosefta's, II-III, 
Frankfurt a. M., 1890, pp. 38-40. 

Semachoth in the Talmud at the end 
of the fourth order. 

SJS.Z. = Seder Eliahu Muta ; see S.E. 

Si/re = Si/re debS Rob, ed. Fried- 
mann, Vienna, 1864, quoted by 
folio. 

Si/re Zuta, a Tannaitic commentary 
on Numbers known through quo- 



tations in Yalkut and M,H,G. 
and a fragment ed. Schechter 
{Jewish Quarterly Review, VI, 
656-63). A collection of these 
quotations was begun by Kdnigs- 
berger, Frankfurt a. M., 1894 
and 1907, and by S. Horovitz in 
Monatsschrift f. Ceschichte und 
Wissenschaft des JudentumSt 1905 
seq. 

Simon Kiara, r\hini ntiSn, ed. 
Traub, Warsaw, 1874. A dif- 
ferent version, ed. Hildesheimer, 
Berlin, 1888-93. 

Singer, The Authorised Daily Prayer 
Book with a New Translation^ 
London, 1890. 

Talmud, ed. Wihia, 1880-86, con- 
tains the commentaries of R. 
Chananel, R. Gershom, etc.; 
quoted by treatise and folio^ all 
eiditions having the same pagi- 
nation. 

Tan, = Tanchuma; quoted by sec- 
tion of the Pentateuch and para- 
graph of ed. Lublin, 1879, with 
commentary qov fp. 

Tan, B. = Midrasch Tanchuma, ed. 
by S. Buber, Wilna, 1885, 5 vols., 
quoted by volume (book of the 
Pentateuch) and folio. 

T. K. = Torat Kohanim, called also 
Sifra, ed. with the commentary 
of R. Abraham b. David (-rsK-)), 
by I. H. Weiss, Vienna, 1863, 
quoted by folio and column. 

T. MQller, Masechet Soferisn, Leip- 
zig, 1878. 

Tosephta, quoted by folios of ed. M. 
S. Zukermandel, Pasewalk, 1881. 
Occasionally A. Schwam, Tosifta 
juxta Mischnanmi ordinem recom- 
posita, I, Ordo Seraim, Wilna, 
1890, is referred to. 

Tur Orach Chayim by R. Jacob b. 
Asher, K&oigsberg, i86x. 



■^«n. '900 /esT '*^ '«»•. Jen,. 

pp. 1,-64. "• ««<'i»»ch, m/ 

«•«*» to .1. "^.^ ^b JeU.„. / ' 
'^0 3"S or B p, ^/ • 



INDEX 



Aaron, prays for the regeneration 
of the sinner, 3x6; encourages 
sinners to repent, 3a x. 

Abba Hilkia, wife of, prajrs that 
outlaws may repent, 3x7. 

Abba Saul, Rabbi, on ImiUUio Dei, 
aoo, aox-a. 

Abba Tachna, illustrates the vic- 
tory of the Good Yater over the 
EvU Yeuer, 272-3. 

Abimelech, protected by the grace 
of God against the EvU YcMer, 
283-4. 

Aboih, Mishnic tractate, and Chasi- 
diUh, 209-xo. 

Abraham, God pays a sick visit to, 
37; God argues with, 37; the 
rock, 59; as proselytiser, 77, 84, 
93; the friend of God, 84; and 
the kingship of God, 83-4 ; testifies 
for Israel against the Torah, 129; 
the world established on, x 73 ; and 
the Zachuth of posterity, X96; at- 
tacked by the EvU Yaer, 25X-2; 
the merits of, guarded by Satan, 
268: has dominion over the EvU 
Yaer, 27X, 275. 

See also Fathers, the; Patri- 
archs, the. 

Absalom, alluded to, 2x3. 

Abuhah, Rabbi, as a geologist, 19. 

Accuser, the. See Satan. 

Acha, Rabbi, on the taint of sin in 
sexual intercourse, 253. 

Achan, and the doctrine of imputed 
sin, 191. 

Adam, God at the wedding of, 37, 
203; acknowledges God as king, 
82, 93; and the doctrine of im- 

aA 353 



puted sin, 188; corrupting effect 
of sin on, 235-6; the sin of, con- 
ceals the light of the first day, 237 ; 
urged by God to repent, 3x5. 

Admonition, hating, prevents re- 
pentance, 33 X. 

Adulterer, the, names for, 224. 

Adultery, a cardinal sin, 205; ex- 
tended meaning of, 214; penalty 
for, 224-5; removes the She- 
chinah, 224-5; what is included 
under, 225; heresy a form of, 
225-6; and the EvU Yeuer, 250; 
forced upon David, to make him 
an example of repentance, 3X 7-18; 
not subject to repentance, 333. 

Affirmative injunctions, the num- 
ber of, X38. 

Agadah, the, character of, 3; retells 
the Bible stories with application 
to later conditions, 24-5; and 
corporeal terms applied to God, 

35- 
Su also under Rabbis, the. 

Agadic saying, on the Mizwoth, 138- 
40. 

Ahab, the repentance of, 324, 326. 

Ahaz, spites God, 220. 

Akabiah ben Mahalaleel, on the con- 
templation of death as a remedy 
against the EvU Yeser, 276. 

Akiba, Rabbi, on justification by 
grace or works, X5-X6; considers 
the paternal relation between God 
and Israel unconditional, 54; re- 
joices in the yoke of the kingdom 
of heaven, 71-2; on the justice of 
God, 304-5; on the grace of 
God, 306. 







354 INDia 




AldoiB. WBhi»l«t.»llt«Wtftiu. 


Apebvrtio. ud lUUMcdHka 






.■-■9. 






ApoKur. Auta Uk rdUlM «f 






bnd ID God. 55 "■ 




R.bhU. J9-44. 


ApoMau, .piK. »*>- 










Alptubd. the. (Ddowed with lilt. 








with. 8. 






Anboth. the arfoith hnno. ihr 




lectioa of lb« kingdon of God. 


■bode ol Cod. rf-9. jo-i. J»- 




W-ioi : >i]enii£cd with Eud v>d 






Rorae.w, 


courw. III. 




An™. >pitci God, „a. 






AmtB. iht Book of, died, in ow- 


Bncdnc. ..5. 




■Hciim «ith the Miiooth. >«>i 


Archtliui. kii« >a<>d«i to. «. 






Aacrtic pnoko, to Koanl ti^tt 




•»e«N 3»4- 








•Jth th* Ta PniUttU Ov*. 




men of. j.6. 


M*. 




Aodcnt Odc of the «orid. qiilbel 


AMtdc rODcdk*. .gabM tte Jrf 




for God, »6. 


^.-r, .7j-«. 




Alutd ol Doth, the, idmli&cd with 


Asbri. 5m Joarph A*fcsri. 




tht EvU I-OB-, ,«-S. 


Amiuc; kUuded to. 19. 










3*: lower thu land. *r. 'o- 


196-. through •■cTifia. btdttd a 




Mpkblc of ilti. 8i : obJKt to the 


efficwT. a9S-7; "*!*«» •» ««• 




tenuml of the Tonh from 


rifico. 3«-,; by tKiifiB. IB- 




h«ven, tj6; Erae from the £vtf 






yatf. ,5;. .BS; object to the te- 


through death and lofleriob 304. 






joi-S; Scriptunl klKdi of. N«: 




oppoK repentance in general, jii- 


thraugh childia. <tad the ifthl- 
B,u».3.<^.iL ihromh the Tormh 




At>K«. aJuD to idolatry. i>4; habit 






iial. prevents repcntunee, jjo. 






AntiBoiios of Socho, on purity of 


3>3- 




moli-ve in perfomuice of the 


Sm otM Fe(si*ausa; Rctod- 




Law. .01. 


dIUikn. 










Paul. 4- 


ud Propbolical poftinu for, t . »; 






PBitta larad, ij«; pr«rcr on. 
Tor gnct! to cmqucr the SM 








Yair tskcs posKuioa of mai^ 


y«o-. aT9-Bo ; ttOlM tor tbt Mtt- 




>ii- 


mualtr ai>d the indivktitil, joi a.; 




Apocalyptit works, rot useful a» a 


irpnitAncc oo. set-ti IndKcft- 




Murce of Rabbinic theologiy, 5, 






Apociyphil WQrki, not uieful aa a 


Atlributea. of OoO. yi. 




■oum U lUbbinic ibeoloo-. 5- 


5« a(» Mwy; JMic ^^ 


r . 


^ -^ 





INDEX 



355 



Avira, Rabbi, enumerates seven 
names for the Evil Yaer, a43-4« 

Azariah, justified in rebelling against 
Nebuchadnezzar, 107. 

Bachye Ibn Bakudah, on love of 
God, 68-9, 73-3; on the joy of 
the Law, 151. 

Bachye Ibn Chalwah, on the unity 
and the kingdom of God, 96; on 
the joy of performing the Miz- 
woth, 151. 

Backbiting, a form of bloodshed, 
337. 

Balaam, and the grace of the reve- 
lation, 134. 

Bcnaha, Rabbi, as the forerunner 
of Astruc, 19. 

Ben Azai, on "The Book of Gen- 
erations of Adam," zao. 

Benedictions, the, preceding the 
Prophets and Hagiographa, 123; 
convey the idea of holiness through 
commandments, 168. 

Berachoth, Talmud tractate, and 
ChasidiUh, aio. 

Beth-Hanmiidrash (schodhouse), 
the, a refuge from the Evil YeMer, 

273. 274. 
Blasphemy, a sin of rebellion, aaa; 

called an evil thing, 233 ; repent- 
ance possible for, 326. 

Bloodshed, a cardinal sin, 305; 
di£Fercnt kinds of, 313; the con- 
sequences of, 336-7; slander, a 
form of, 337; robbery, a form 
of, 337-9; l^ administration of 
justice, a form of, 339-30; due to 
the Evil Ffser, 346. 
Su also Murder. 

Boaz, banishes the Evil Yaer, 
371. 

Body, the, liable to sin, 360-z . 

"Book of Generations of Adam, 
The," on the dignity of man, 

X30. 

Bribery, prevents repentance, 330. 



Bride, term for the relation between 
God and Israel, 47 ; term applied 
to the Sabbath, 154. 

Brother, term for the relation be- 
tween God and Israel, 47, 56. 

Burnt ofiFering, the, instituted for 
heresy, 335-6; the continual, 
controversy on the atoning power 
of, 399-300. 

Cabalists, the, and the creation of 
the world, z38. 
See also under Mystic. 

Cain, makes the Evil Yexer respon- 
sible for his crime, 380-1; an 
example of penitence, 3x5; re- 
pentance of, acceptable, 336. 

Captives, objections to marriage 
with, 313. 

Cardinal sins, the, enumerated, 305- 
6. 
See Sins, the cardinal. 

Catastrophes, to teach that repent- 
ance is possible for the greatest 
sins, 317. 

Chama ben Chaninah, Rabbi, 
quoted, on the imitation of God, 
303-3. 

Chambers, Chapters of the, mys- 
tical description of the heavens, 
39. 

Chaninah ben Dosa, Rabbi, mir- 
acle-worker, lacks influence on 
Jewish thought, 7; on sin as the 
cause of death, 347. 

Chanukah Candles, the Lighting of 
the, as a command, 13. 

Chapters of the Chambers, mysti- 
cal description of the heavens, 
39. 

Charity, invalidated by robbery, 
338; disparaged by the Evil 
Yeter, 353; superior to sacrifices 
as a means of atonement, 396, 
3x3; the atoning power of, 3x3; 
preventing, makes repentance im- 
possible, 330. 



of \Vorm» OTi, 210: a 
from •-jj^rflioui ihi:.?' 
irig 10 Sii/h TTJx r, i'i »-* , 2 : 
'orrt'tive of the 1-aw, 
the T«:w]krd ol, 217-18. 
.S'ee a/f« Holine%(. 

CkasidtUk, Regulciicns of, 
ztrr of Womu, quoted, ai 

Chaue women, the, the 
power of, 313. 

ChaycAh, the, fturroiindmg ( 

Cheating not subject to rep 

333- 
Cberubim, the, surroundln; 

3»- 
Children, term for the reU 

Israel to Ood, 4^'. 49 f^t) 

ftaved by their fath«-r\ 17) 

the doctrine erf imputed sii 

192-3; the Ei'tl Yeser in, 

the death of, an atoneme 

the sins of adulu, 254; are 

out sin, 369; the atoning 

of, 310-11. 

See also Zackutk, the, of 1 

posterity. 

ChLsda, Kabbi, criticised by a 

144-5- 
Chiya, Rabbi, the holiness of, 
Choni Hammaa«;el, miracle- n 

lacks influence on Jewish th 

ChoAcn ones, a t<*rm appli 

Israrl by Cod, 47. 
(Jhri«iti:inity, the essential nd 



INDEX 



357 



Covenant with the Fathers, the, un- 
limited, 179. 

See also Zachuth, the, of the 
Fathers. 

Creation, Master of all, epithet for 
God, aa. 

Creation of man, the, subject of 
controversy, 8. 

Creation of the world, the, a glori- 
fication of God, 80-z; man the 
centre of, 8a; and wisdom, lay- 
8; according to the Cabaiists, 
laS; repentance indispensable 
to, ia8, 314. 

Creator, epithet for God, a6. 

Creed, The Thirteen Articles of 
the, by Maimonides, contain no 
mention of Israel's election, 57. 

Criminal procedure, in the Mish- 
nah, a. 

Criticism of the wise, prevents re- 
pentance, 331. 

Cursing the many, prevents repent- 
ance, 330. 

Daniel, Rome in the vision of, xoo. 

Daniel, the Book of, cited, in con- 
nection with God as a teacher of 
the Torah, 43 ; with the extent of 
the Torah, laa. 

David, the consequences of the mar- 
riage of, with a captive, aia-X3; 
name given to the Evil Your by, 
343 1 banishes the Evil Yaer, ayi; 
slays the Evil Yaer, a 75; made 
to sin as an example of repentance, 
317-18; and Jeroboam, 319; con- 
fident of God's forgiveness, 3a6; 
confesses his sin, 336. 

Dead, the, and the doctrine of im- 
puted sin, 196; and the Zachuth 
of posterity, 198; prayers for, 198. 

Death, caused by the Evil Yeter, 
a44-7; caused by sin, 345, a47; 
of children, 354; the contempla- 
tion of, conquers the Evil Yeter, 
376; the punishment of the sin- 1 



ner, 393, 394, 304; an atone- 
ment, 304, 307-8, 3x0. 

Death, the Angel of. See Angd of 
Death, the. 

Death-bed repentance, 340-1. 

Deborah, the generation of, has a 
single heart, 357. 

Decalogue, the, the tablets of, sug- 
gest an explanation concerning 
the Evil YeMer, 374-5. 
See also Law, the; Torah, the. 

Defilement, term applied to the 
cardinal sins, 305, ao6. 
See also Impurity. 

Defilement of the land, caused by 
idolatry, 333; caused by pride, 
333 ; caused by murder, 336. 

Deification of man, objected to by 
the Rabbis, 38-9. 

Deluge, the, and the doctrine of 
imputed sin, 195; generation of, 
rebels, 319, 333; causes pain to 
God, 3x9-30; robbery the capi- 
tal sin of, 337; and the Tetra- 
grammaton, 339; give the Evil 
Ye%er sway, 371; warned to re- 
pent, 315. 

Depravity in children, left unpro- 
tested, prevents repentance, 331. 

Desert, the, reason for giving the 
Torah in, X31. 

Deuteronomy, the Book of, cited, 
in connection with Moses' ac- 
knowledgement of God, 36; with 
the might of God, 38; with the 
justice of God, 38; with the faith- 
fulness of God, 38 ; with the unity 
of God, 48; with Israel's exalted 
place, 48; with the election of 
Israel, 58 {his), 63-4; with the 
kingdom of God, 67 (Jbis)-, with 
love of God, 67, 68, 69, 79 {his)\ 
with man's righteousness and the 
kingdom of God, 90 {his), 91 ; with 
the kingship benediction, 96; with 
the superiority of the Torah, 118; 
an ImikUio Dei, 119; cited in 



ancestry, 182, 183; agai 
puted sin, 185, 186; c 
connection with the dutic 
court of justice, 193; wi 
puted sin through posterit) 
with walking in the ways o 
aoi; with the imitation oi 
903; with cleaving to Goc 
{bis); with jealousy, 904; 
marriage with a captive, 213; 
a rebellious son, 313; witl 
law of goodness, 314; with { 
333, 334; with the Shech. 
334 (bis); with heresy, 335; 
the Evil Yexer, 343, 343; 
the good heart, 359; with n 
dies against the Evil Yaer, -. 
with God's regret at having 
ated the EvU Yener, 384 {b 
with free will and the Evil Ye 
386 (bis), 388; with the ct 
munal sacrifices, 301; with 
justice of God, 305, 306; m 
the repentance of Manasseh, 3 
with God's attribute of mercy 
relation to repentance, 333. 

Devious ways, and the imitatioo 
God, 304. 

Devotion, a necessary element 
prajrer, 156-9. 

De Wette, definition of mystid 

by. 77- 
Dibbur, as used by the Rabbis, 43 
Dietary laws. See Forbidden fo 
Dining-table, the, the atonins do« 

of. ■»»'• 



INDEX 



3S9 



Elijah, held up as a model to Hiram, 
39; rebuked for excessive zeal, 
53-3; and the inheritors of the 
future world, x66; rebuked for 
excessive severity, 204-5; and 
the law of saints, ax6; banishes 
the EvU YeMer, 271; reproaches 
God for the EvU YeMer, 383. 

Elisha, why made to supersede 
Elijah, 53, ao5; urges Gehazi to 
repent, 333. 

ElohiMt God as judge, 35. 

El Skadai, the God of pardon, 35-6. 

Enemy, name for the EvU Feser, 

a43- 
Enosh, generation of, rebels, 919; 

cause pain to God, 3x9-20. 

Elnvy, causes death, 345, 346; ser- 
viceable for a good purpose, 367. 

Epithets for God, 3i-a, 36-8, 34, 
35-6; as used by the Rabbis, 39; 
hi the liturgy, 44. 

Esau, identified with Amalek and 
Rome, 99-100, 108; supreme in 
this worid, xoo; the Torah of- 
fered to, X33. 

Eve, God at the wedding of, 37, 303. 

EvU, name for the EvU Keser, 343. 

Evil, the punishment of the sinner, 

Evil eye, the, causes death, 345. 

Evil inclination, the. See EvU 
YeMer, the. 

Evil thoughts, indulgence in, pre- 
vents repentance, 330. 

EvU Yeser, the, and the love of God, 
67-8; suppressed by Israel to 
acknowledge the kingdom of God, 
97-8; Scriptural passages on, 
343-3; names for, 343-4; ac- 
tivities of, 344-7, 348; corre- 
sponds to lust, 346; punishment 
meted out by, 346-7 ; and vanity, 
348-9, 376; instantaneous re- 
sistance to, reconmiended, 249; 
connected closely with idolatry 
and adultery, 350; and scepti- 



dsm, 351-3; disparages charity, 
253; when it takes possession of 
man, 353-5 ; the heart the seat of, 
355-H6X; not equivalent with the 
heart, 258-9; has no dominion 
over the heart filled with Torah 
259; prominent in Jewish litera- 
ture, 363 ; the leaven in the dough, 
363-3 1 a creature of God, 364-6 ; 
God acknowledges the creation of, 
366, 380-3 1 ^>s^ o^» 366-7 ; called 
a good quality, 367; the servant 
of man, 367 ; man responsible for, 
268-9; created for man to over- 
come, 269; can be overcome by 
man, 269-70; can be turned to 
good purposes, 371 ; how to ban- 
ish, 37X-3; the Good YeMer to be 
stirred up against, 373-3; two 
weapons against, 373; conquered 
by the study of the Torah, 373-5 ; 
conquest of, an honouring of God, 
275; conquered by the contem- 
plation of death, 276; various 
remedies against, 377-8; grace 
needed to conquer, 378-^4, 389- 
90; God regrets the creation of, 
384; and free will, 384-9; to 
cease with the advent of the Mes- 
siah, 390-3; the appearance of, 
to the righteous and the wicked, 
390; Israel's reward for banish- 
iiig, 393 ; repentance for, 304, 3i3f 
314; God prays for the destruc- 
tion of, 3x6; killed by a con- 
fession of sin, 338. 

Exaltation, and the imitation of 
God, 304. 

Exodus, the, due to the ZachtUh of 
die Fathers, X74, x 80, 185 n.; de- 
nied by the perVerter of justice, 
230; fulfilment of the command- 
ment on usury, a condition of, 
230-X. 

Exodus, the Book of, cited in con- 
nection with the might of God, 
38; with the mercy of God, 38; 



360 



INDEX 



with the pnde of a mortal, 38; 
with Jcthro's acknowledgement 
f)f Go<i, 25; with the name of 
Gcxi, 35, .^6; with God's presence 
at Mount Sinai, 36; with God's 
sjx'n h with man, 41 ; with God 
as a man of war, 43; with the 
atlli( tion of Israel, 44; with God's 
(IwtllinK on earth, 4S; with God's 
paternal intercut in Israel, 50, 51; 
with Moses as a sacrifice for 
Israel, 53; with the election of 
I.^rael, qh, 63; with the glorifica- 
tion of (jixl through creation, 80; 
with the kinirdom of God as es- 
tal)li-;heil by Israel, 85-6; with the 
Sim (tion of the Law, 116; the le- 
gal part of the T<^rah begins in, 
I jo; the lnK)k of the covenant 
mentioned in, 121; cited in con- 
n«'( lion with Israel's holiness, 
i(«.s; with the Z>uhiUh of the 
I'ather-i, 174; with the Zachuth 
of a ])iou> aiu <'str>', iSi ; with im- 
pnteii sin, iS-;, 1S7; with exalta- 
tiv>n, 20.\\ with sexual immo- 
rality, aoG; with munler, J13; 
with .idullery, 214; with mercy, 
-•15; with humility, 223; with 
the -i;!ht of the nior>' of God, 
2Vt (''/>); with the weakening 
in:'i-.;in(e of ^in, 2^0 (/>«); with 
the r< tra^rammaton, 2},q\ with 
tin- tahjit-^ of stiuie for the Deca- 
1i».l:uc, 2-;^\ with the disappear- 
aril »• of the h'vii Veztf in the 
Mi>-ia!iir time, 2()i (/'/.O; with the 
.i!i);.irii: |K)\viT of the righteous, 
;i . uith riiaraoh's hardened 
!i< .11!. i ; J. 

I \*..' Mil ;.itii)u, jK^nalty for adul- 
t. •>, :.^\. 

" I- \to!iiar' lK)ok<. See Apoca- 
l>j>ti( ; AjK^i r\ phal. 

I!yr, term for tiic relation between 
(mkI and Israel, 47. 

Eye, the evil, causes lieath, 24 >. 



Eye of the world, epithet for God, 16. 

Eyes, the, cause sin, aoS^ 114; 
agents of sin, 258. 

Ezekiel, the Tisions of, and God's 
heavenly abode, 28-9. 

Ezekiel, the Book of, dted, in con- 
nection with the pride of Hiram, 
38-9; with Israel's rdation to 
God, 44; with the kingdom ol 
God, 71, 88; with imputed sin, 
187, 196; with robbery, aa8; with 
the Evil Yeter, 243-4; with the 
sinning soul, 261 ; with the EvU 
Yeter regarded as siane^ 275 ; with 
the grace needed to conquer the 
Evil Yeter, a8i; with the pun- 
ishment of sinners, 293; with re- 
pentance human and Divine^ 3*8. 

Faith, the Rabbis quoted on, 14; 
the reason for Israel's election, 
59-60. 

Faithfulness, the, of God, 38. 

Family, the, and the doctrine of im- 
puted sin, 192. 

Family of God, Israel, aoo. 

Fasting, a sacrificial atonement, 
308; cannot replace repentance^ 
335; with repentance, 339-40. 

Fasts, public, the Zackutk of piout 
ancestors invoked at, 172. 

Father, term for the relation be- 
tween God and Israel, 46, 49, 
50-6; as used in the liturgy, 155. 

Father of the worid, epithet for God, 
a6. 

Fatherhood of God, the, to be ac- 
knowledged by Israel, 50-1; 
Luther on, 51 n.; an uncondi- 
tional relation, 51-6; in the 
Uturgy, 54-6; changed by apos- 
tasy, 55 n. 
5^ also Reciprocal rdation. 

Fathers, the, in the sense of the 
three patriarchs, 171; imper- 
fections and dbtinctions of, 173-4. 
See also Patriarchs, the. 



INDEX 



361 



f 



f» 



Fathers, the, the Chapters of, 

character of the contents, 2. 
Fathers, the, the merits of. See 

Zachiah. 
Fear, an ezi>ression for love with 

the Rabbis, 72; a constituent of 

the Torah, 146. 
Fear of God, the, not in the power 

of God, 285. 
Fiend, name for the BvU YtMer, 243. 
^rst-bom son, term for the relation 

of Israel to God, 46. 
Flock, term for the relation of Israel 

to God, 49. 
F0U7, a description of sin, 236-7. 
Podish aid king, name for the Evil 

Yeaer, 244, aS4. 
Forbidden food, causes impurity, 

206-7. 
Forgetfulness, the commandment 

00, illustrated, 149. 
Forgiveness, for sins, attained 

through repentance, 293-4, 335; 

resides with God alone, 294-5; 

through suffering, 309; five 

classes not subject to, 328-30; 

granted three times for the same 

•in, 332. 
See oho Atonement; Reconcfl- 

iation. 
Freedom, attained through the yoke 

of the kingdom of God, 70. 
Free will, and the EvU Ytur, 284-9. 
Future world, the. See World, the 

future. 

Gabriel, angel, not a mediator, 45, 
67; may not approach Moses, 
238. 

Galgalim, the, surroimding God, 32. 

Gamaliel the Second, Rabban, al- 
luded to, 176. 

Gehazi, ruled by the EvU Yeur, 271 ; 
urged to repent, 333. 

Gehenna, children save parents 
from, 197; repentance in, 341 n. 

Gemara, the. See Talmud, the. 



Genesis, the Book of, dted in con- 
nection with the dignity of men, 
z2o; value of, 121; dted in con- 
nection with the protective power 
of the ZachtUh, 190; with the imi- 
tation of God, 202; with the 
Porek ol, 221 (bis); with blood- 
shed, 226, 251; with the Tetra- 
granimaton, 240; with the Evil 
YeMer, 242, 243, 264, 265 {bis\ 
266; with overcoming the Evil 
YeMer, 270, 283; with the EvU 
YeMer as stone, 274. 

Gentiles, the, transitory character 
of opinions on, 9-10; magnify 
God, 58; God's relation to, 62-4; 
of the kingdom of God, 106; re- 
fuse the Law, 131-2; refuse to 
share in the Law with Israd, 133 ; 
rebellious under suffering, 310. 

See also Kingdom of God, the 
universal. 

Geonic Responsa, quoted, on pr aye rs 
for the dead, 198. 

Geonim, the, and the visible imi- 
versal kingdom of God, 95-6; 
and the national kingdom of God, 

97. . 

Gluttony, incompatible with holi- 
ness, 2x1-12; auxiliary to the £v«/ 
YeMer, 277. 

God, man's rdation to, treated by 
the Agadah, 3; epithets for, 21-2, 
36-8, 34, 35-6; man's nearness 
to, determined t^^ his conduct, 33; 
an imikUio hominis, 37-8; at- 
tendant at the wedding of Adam 
and Eve, 37, 203; as used by 
the Hellenists, 43 n. ; the unity of, 
emphasised, 43-4; worship due 
to him alone, 44-5; relation of, 
to the world, 21-45; relation of, 
to Israd, 46-56; terms for the 
rdation of, to Israel, 46-7; ap- 
plies his own attributes to Israel, 
47; and the angels, 49; before 
the creation of Uie world, 80-x; 





363 INDEX ^M 




GnM. tUUi AUb* <M ItMii^B 


tj; UMhH Iirul bm tft pny. 


tioa fcjr. .S-.6; |kt i»m te 


157: to be unimrt b^ men, mi- 


Itfad*! deokn, «i-«i the kw 


5; the denial d. the «caa ol 


laliaanael«^ijj-f; amfadia 


d»..jj; D.oiegi™.U.ll«a* 


«»»cti<><i «Jlk a« Took ID 




oiMqw Ae £>« Ymm. rf*. 


Uk Riitence of the £M( fMr. 


ymr** <«. »?*-•; P«V«» *«. 


»66. »*>-3; ftgreU the oMIigB 


In Ifee IkiUKF. <»-k; tb> Bad 


Ol the Evil Yair. M*. 






tM ibe aiUHue d tke fli4 


Kingdom ol God; TraiucndM- 




Ulittn. 


the £n7 K«^. bi tbe «>« 


Codi. » lenn apidiol to Ivkd bf 


W (oae. tit~y. gnotcri ■ 


God. 4;. «. 


AbiiBelech. rf3-4; BUB *<)« 




dw« UiMrif wonby o<. >«9-va; 


tid'i RbcUioiunat. W; the ibi 


AUImob.)o«; toETTeid lee tkb 


of, counlenclfd by the Zadt^k 




ol the FMher*. n* (*"). t»o; 


gC Sf4. 


uid the doctrine o( Imputed ilct. 




189; Uk aio of. pernilEBt, U> 




teach repentance, ji ;. 


Guilt oStiing. Ifai. (M«n> IMlp«f 


Good inclination, the. Sw Coed 


lux^ tV); .mBpuM bf n- 


Yat. the. 


pentUKc, *9ft- 


Cn>4 Kcw, the. in the Book erf 




Chronide* (l\ »«; imn (rf ■ 


HahaUuk. the Book dL. dbd. ta 


Ub: date, 143; the hean the leai 


cennMtioii with (he tfiiwK*. t4o; 




with burins "itncw. »4I- 


bjnwn. .6,. a crratu™ o( G«l, 


HagioKnpK the. Monrtiw. a> 


rt«-5; preferred by the lighl- 


duded by ttie ttfn r««*k iiS: 


cous,97i: to be itirrcd up aitainM 


ItKhMkd to ih< Im. Tamk, m- 


the EmI Yob. i^%-y, pnrcn 


6; inq«>tly qocM b Ite 
lUbbk ■••: bdMdid to te 


lot, .79-80; in the Meadaok 


lime. 191. 


ScTtpnn. Kj: benaUdta far. 




t*j: bM dud ta niiiMric too^ 


new. >.4; defined by N«*- 


■tlB^ IMr^ 


manidea, 114-5: "d inautiiw 


.S«t«lMWbd«L 


upon Itrirt imtice, 115. 






»k». [^. 7. 


the creation. So. 


BaUchie ifiKwioai, t|«Ml far 


Goodnea of the •otid, cpllhel loe 


Godta. J*. 


God. .6. 


HalUiB. quottd. ,9. 


Gomomh. and the <la(1nnr of 


Hall-i Judah. Sm I«tah Bat- 


Zsiik^K, .90; ^ people <rf. 


lew. 


rtbeli. 119. »i; Ihc people of. 




caiue pain to Cod. 119-10. 


tioB of death. >;«. 




Baaantah. iiMffied ta nfa^^^ 


with the Ungdon of Cod. lofr-v- 




k. ^ 


I^^^^J 



INDEX 



363 



Hamack, on Pauline Epistles, z8. 
Hatred, a greater sin than the car- 
dinal sins, 337; causes death, 

345- 
Hausrath, disparages the Jewish 

Sabbath, 153. 
Heart, the, causes sin, 3o8; in Jew- 
ish literature, 355 n.; as the seat 
of the Yaers, 355-61 ; the agent 
of sin, 358; not equivalent to the 
Evil YeMer, 358-9; good, 359; 
accused of inconsbtency, 359; 
equivalent to the soul, 360-1 ; in 
thie righteous and the wicked. 

See also Soul, the. 
Heaven, as the abode of God, 38-9, 
30-1, 33; notion as such leaves 
Rabbinic theology uninfluenced, 

30- 
Heaven, epithet for God, 31, 38; 

does not imply remoteness, 46. 

Hegelianism, and the Rabbis, 19. 

Height of the world, epithet for God, 
38. 

Hell, endowed with pre-mundane 
existence, 138. 

Hellenism, and the Rabbis, 39-40, 
43-3; and its use of God, 43 n. 

Heresy, akin to adultery, 335-6. 

Herod, king, alluded to, 93. 

Hezekiah, king, alluded to, 177. 

Hidden-One^ name for the EvU 
Yeter, 344. 

High One, epithet for God, 38. 

High priest, the, the vestments of, 
have atoning power, 300. 

Higher criticism, the, on the litera- 
ture produced under the predomi- 
nance of the Law, zz6. 

Hillel, Rabbi, not a miracle-worker, 
7; as a modem altruist, 18-19; 
on the resurrection, 103 n.; on 
the oneness of the material and 
the spiritual life, 145; on material 
uses of the Torah, 154, 159; on 
individual righteousness, 183 ; 



worthy of the Divine Presence^ 

338. 
Hillel, the school of, on the creation 

of man, 8; on the atoning power 

of the burnt offering, 399. 
Hiram, of T3rre, reproved for pride^ 

3H). 
Holiness, the Law a source of, z68; 

a motive for the performance of 
the Law, 168-9; ^^ culmina- 
tion of the Law, 199; grows out 
of the kingdom of God, 199; an 
ImikUio Dei, 199-300, 301-5; 
divisions of, 3oz; and separate- 
ness, 305 ; destroyed by impurity, 

1305-9; abstention from things 
superfluous, 311-13; abstention 
from things permitted, 313-13; 
and the law of goodness, 314; and 
commimion with God, 318. 
See also Kedushah; Chasidulh. 

Holiness, a name for God in Rab- 
binic literature, 199. 

Holy, applied to the patriarchs 
after their death, 173; attribute 
applied to Israel by God, 47. 

Holy Land, the, talk of the people 
in, called Torah, 136. 

Holy One, the, epithet for God, 3k ; 
most frequent name for God in 
Rabbinic literature, 199. 

Holy Spirit, the, dictates the Torah, 
1 30-1; Chasidulh leads to com- 
munion with, 3x7-18. 

Hope, term for the relation between 
God and Israel, 46. 

Hosea, rebuked for excessive zeal, 

53- 
Hosea, the Book of, cited, in con- 
nection with God as a man of 
war, 36; with God's love for 
Israel, 61; with the manner of 
performing the Law, i6z; with 
Zachuth, 178; with man's wor- 
thiness of grace, 389; with re- 
pentance for many sins, 335; 
with confession of sins, 338. 



3^4 



INDEX 



Hoshayah, Rabbi, on wisdom, 117. 

Humanising of God, 37-S. 

Humanity, the essential principle 
of, in Uie Book of Leviticus, zso. 

Humbleness, the reason for Isradi's 
election, 60. 

Hushai, the Archite, reproves David, 
ax 2-13. 

Hypocrisy, detrimental to belief in 
the uni^ of God, 66-9. 

Hypocrites, excluded from the Di- 
vine Prcseace, sjs. 

Idolater, the, animosity to, dates 
from the revelatioo, 131 ; a Porek 
ol, aao; names for, aaa-3; com- 
pared to the unmerciful, S31-S. 

Idolatry, laws on, not a practical 
consideration, 141; a cardinal 
sin, ao5; transgression of the 
dietary laws leads to, 907; con- 
sequences of, sa3; pride, a form 
of, 333-4; anger, a form of, 334; 
a contamination, 933; described 
as foUy, 337; and the Evil Keser, 
344, 350; tiie cause of sin, 291-3. 
See also Poljrtheism. 

Idols, defined, 67. 

ImikUio Dei, holiness is an, 199- 
300; particularised by Abba 
Saul, 30Z-3. 

Immorality, dirties the Torah, 934. 
See also Adultery; Sexual im- 
morality. 

Inmiortality, treated by the Aga- 
dah, 3. 

Impurity, in the sense of sexual 
immorality, 305-6; of body, 306- 
7; caused by a disgusting act, 
367; caused by a transgression 
of a Biblical law, 308-9; of 
thought, 3XO-IK, 333. 
See also Levitical impurity. 

Imputed righteousness. See Za- 
chiUh. 

Imputed sin, the doctrine of, a 
counterpart of Zaehmth, 170; 



Biblicsl authority for, and against, 
185-7 ; and the sin of Adam, x88; 
and the sin of the golden calf, 189; 
through contemporaries, X9x-s; 
and secret sins, 194; and the 
revelation, 195; thztra^ pos- 
terity, 195-7. 

Incest, laws on, not a practical 
consideration, 141. 

Inclination, the evil. See Eml 
YeMer, the. 

Inclination, the good. See Good 
YeMer, the. 

Incontinence. See Sexual immond- 
ity. 

Individualism in rdigioo, 76-9. 

Informer, the office of, performed 
by the Evil YeMer, 353. 

Inheritance^ regulated by the Mish- 
nah, 3. 

Initiative, in repentance, 334, 337. 

Isaac, God condoles with, 37. 

See also Fathers, the; Patri- 
archs, the. 

Isaac, Rabbi, on the Prophets, 134. 

Isaiah, the condition of his propheti- 
cal call, 53; the mouthpiece of 
the Mosaic revelation, 134. 

Isaiah, the Book of, dted, in con- 
nection with sepcuation from God, 
33; with the intimate relation of 
God to Israel, 47f 50; with the 
rebelliousness of Israel, 53 ; with 
Israel's filial relation to God, 
$4 (bis); with Abraham, 59; with 
Grod's relation to the Gentiles, 
63; with the glorification of 
God through creation, 80; with 
universalism, 106 (bis), 131 ; 
prophetical portion for the Day 
of Atonement from, 1x9; cited, in 
connection with the MiMwifik, 
140 (bis); with humility, 333; 
with robbery, 338; with nearness 
to God, 333 (bis); with the attri- 
bute of mercy, 940; with the 
Evil Yeaer^ 343; with the heart. 



INDEX 



365 



S58; with remedies against the 
Evil Yaer, 377; with grace to 
conquer the Evil YeMer, 381; 
with free will and the Evil YeMer, 
387, a 88; with man's worthiness 
of grace, 390 (bis); with the 
atoning power of the righteous, 
310; with things that prevent 
repentance, 331. 

Ishmael, Rabbi, on the pre-mun- 
dane existence of repentance, 314* 

Israel, God teaches Torah to^ 37; 
attributes of God applied to, 47; 
higher than the angels, 49; prayer 
by, acceptable, 49, 50-z; high 
responsibility of, 51-3; prophets 
and patriarchs, atone for, 53; 
attributes of, qualif3ring it for 
election, 59-60; elected by God 
as the first-bom, 63; establishes 
the kingdom of God, 85-6, 88-9; 
rebellious against the kingdom 
of God, 86-8; connected in the 
liturgy with the kingdom of God, 
97; suppresses the evil inclina- 
tion to acknowledge the kingdom 
of God, 97-8; the redemption of, 
and the kingdom of God, 98-103; 
the depository of the kingdom of 
God, 105; what constitutes it a 
nation, 105-6; mission of, to 
destroy a corrupt government, 
108-9; the kingdom of God 
dependent on, 114-15; endowed 
with pre-mundane existence, 138; 
the Torah pleads for, and against, 
139; wedded to the Torah, 130; 
why made the bearer of the Torah, 
131-3; to share the Torah with 
the Gentiles, 133; its view of the 
Torah, 137; commended for 
joy in the Law, 149-50; taught 
by God how to pray, 157; holy 
through the commandments, z68- 
9; lives through the ZachtUh of 
the Fathers, 175; the solidarity 
ott 191-5; the holiness d, 199- 



aoo; dietary laws the special 
privilege of, 307 ; delivered to the 
sword by idolatry, 333; the 
sanctuary of, destrc^red by blood- 
shed, 336; redeemed from Eg3rpt 
to fulfil the commandment of 
justice, 330; redeemed from 
Egypt on condition that it obeys 
the commandment 00 usury, 330- 
z ; purified by the Day of Atone- 
ment, 334; the sin of, removes the 
Divine Presence, 336, 338; weak- 
ened by sin, 339; apostasy of, due 
to the Evil Yaer, 343; needs 
grace to extenuate its guilt, 283; 
and the disappearance of the Evil 
YeMiT, 39Z; rewarded for sub- 
duing the Evil YtMer, 393; the 
solidarity of, and the atoning 
power of sacrifices, 300-z; re- 
pentance of, 304; to be punished 
in the future world, 307 ; humble 
under suffering, 3x0; the right- 
eous and the children atone for, 
310-xz; given opportunity for 
repentance, 316; made to sin, as 
an example of sepentance, 3Z7; 
encouraged to repent for great 
sins, 336; met halfway by God, 
337; must confess sins, 336. 

See also Election of Israel, the; 
Kingdom of God, the. 

Israel, the kingdom of. Identified 
with the kingdom of God, 103; 
safeguards the conception of the 
kingdom of God, Z04; adds the 
feature of material happiness to 
the kingdom of God, Z09-14. 

See also Israel; Election of Is- 
rael, the; Kingdom of God, the 
national; Kingdom of God, the 
visible universal. 

Israel, the relation of God to^ 46- 
56; terms for, 46-7; reciprocal, 
47~^ 50-z; paternal character 
of, 51-6; changed by apostasy. 55 
n.; indicated bf electkm. 57. 



Juob. uid the fcinEdom of God, i* ; 
cjuwan Ihe world to tome u his 

Stt alit Fathen. Ilic; Pklri- 

Jedoiuy, and Ihc imiuiion ot God. 

004 ; Elij&b Tcbuktd for, 304-5. 
Jebouchin. tbc rtpmtaacc al, 

UcrpIaUc. 3 a 4. 
Jchoiaium, ipilfa God, »o. 
Jtremiah. the Book of, dtol, in 

cooQcfiJcn wiih reward (or proper 

rad. 58; wilh God's trUlton to 
the Genlilis, 63 (frii): wilb the 
kingdom of God, 99 -. with joy of 
tbr Law, i;i; with prajrB, n6; 
with Ihe atuchment of Imd to 
God. 100; Willi ifar Shccbinah. 
>]<;; with the intooiiMcnl heart. 
aS9i with the «udy 0/ the Tonh 
ai a weapon against the Exil 
Yna. »j«; with the fract needed 

aHi; with the jtutitc to prevail 
in ihc (uiure woHd, 307 ; with tr- 
pentsnce human and divine, jit, 

Jerobosia. the division of the king. 
dom under, rebellion against 
God, «?. urged by God W re- 
pent. J19-JO. 

JmuaJern, idmti6rd with the king' 
dom of God. 99; cause of Ihe 
destructioii of, 1 1 ; : a midat 
of. and the continual burnt oSer- 



Jethro. iUustrates the altitude ol a 

Job, Sfltan's good mtmtlODi ntt- 
cerning. 168; aigucit with God 
legBTding the Evil Yaa, 173, iSo. 

Job, Ihe Book of. cited, in conaec- 




with tlir iMtke of GoA JOS- 
' * " Rabbi, on iat>bet7 ■ 



JnrhiMii b^ Sakkat at a nodMa 

•tanda, iS-iq. 
Joel, Ihc Book of. dted. ia owdM- 

tion with man's direct rdaiioa W 

Cod. 44-5; with beio( caUed Itf 

the name o( Cod. »■ ; vilfe ihe 

EvU Yair, 144; with Uatbs and 

rep rn U tif t; 339. 
jsnah, Ihc Bo<^ cf. quo«M^ la 

ooDDKtiaD wtA efieadouB >«■ 

pcaOBCc, jjj. 
Joae, Rabfat quoeol oo (he ecvaM 

of ttw righlBoua, i«. 
JoM bn ChalaAa, Rabbi, m Ik 

qoaUdCiflf God'* ebon om^ 4a. 
Joieph, ndc* oter the £M for, 

171; the btethen of, drfoakal 

I7 the Rabbis, i»i . 
Jnepb Askaii, on Ihe yof (rf tka 

Uw. .(.. 

Jcshua. Insel under, aoepa da 

kingdon) of God, 87. 
jGahua. (be Book of, dMd, (B o 

neclion with Rahab** ac^noi 

edgnoenl ol God, >6. 
Jsahua ben Lpii. RabU, and Oa 

law n( ufula. 116; eouatenM* 

sertn namra Ice Ihe Enf Viav, 

I G«- 



J07 of Ihe Law, an trntaOA ch> 
ment in the understaaifinc 4 tka 
Law, i4«. ■4^: illunted in tfa 



^- 




INDEX 



367 



tnted in the prayers, 154-9; 
a motiye for the performance of 
the Law, 166-9. 
See also Law, the; Torah, the. 

Judah, the princes of, rebellious 
against God, 87-8. 

Judah, the Saint (Rabbi), on the 
time when the Evil Yaer takes 
possession of man, 253-4; prays 
for grace to conquer the Evil 
Yaer^ 379. 

Judah (Judan), Rabbi, on man's 
direct relation to God, 44-5- 

Judah ben Ezekiel, Rabbi, defines 
Chasiduih, 209. 

Judah ben Ilai, Rabbi, limits the 
paternal relation between God 
and Israel, 54; on the imitation 
of God, 203. 

Judah Hallevi, on the indusiveness of 
the Torah, 146. See also Kusari. 

Judaism, and individualism, 76-9; 
to convert the world, 77 ; aims to 
establish the visible kingdom of 
God, 79; teaches a universal 
kingdom of God, 93; views of, 
on poverty, no; view of, on suf- 
fering, in; insists upon man's 
happiness on earth, xxi. 
See also Rabbis, the; etc. 

Judges, the Book of, cited, in con- 
nection with the administration 
of justice, 339. 

Justice, in God, 38; the execution 
of, conditions the Torah, 143; 
and the imitation of God, ao4; 
bad administration of, a form of 
Uoodshed, 939-30; superior to 
sacrifices as a means of atone- 
ment, 996; God's attribute of, 
evoked by sin, 239-40; the Rab- 
bis on, 304-6; prevaik in the 
future worid, 307; and repent- 
ance, 39s. 

Kaddish, the, and the kingdom of 
God, 95. 



Keduskah, holiness within the limits 
of the Law, aox, aog; original 
meaning of, ao$; the reward of, 
8x7-18. 
Su also UcAineas; ChasidtOh. 

Kiara, Simon. See Simon Kiara. 

King, epithet for God, ax. 

Kingdom of God, the, defined by 
the Rabbis, 65; conception orig- 
inates in the Sicriptures, 65; di- 
visions of, 66; universal in its 
aims, 93; conception narrowed 
and enriched by national aspect, 
103-4; bad government incom- 
patible with, 106-9; material 
features of, 109-X4; dependent 
upon Israel, X14-X5; confers 
authority upon the Law, xi6; 
holiness grows out of, X99; the 
yoke of, thrown off by the Poreh 
ol, aao-x ; the yoke of, thrown off 
by the respecter of persons, 230. 

Kiiigdom of God, the invisible, how 
to receive the jroke of, 66-7 ; not 
a burden, 70-a ; and the dangers 
of qidetism, 78. 

Kingdom of Gkxl, the national, in 
the liturgy, 97, 105; connected 
with the redemption of Israd, 
98-101, X 14-15; opposed to the 
kingdom of Rome, xoi; the 
features of, 104; the spiritual 
features of, X04-6; penitents and 
proselytes in, xo6; and material 
happiness, X09-14. 

Kingdom of God, the universal, in 
the Shemoj 64. 
See also Gentiles, the. 

Kingdom of God, the visible, the aim 
of Judaism, 78-9 ; divisions of, 80. 

Kingdom of God, the visible uni- 
versal, dates from the creation of 
man,8x, 8a; impaired by sin, 83; 
restored by Abraham, 83-4; 
taught by Jacob, 84; established 
by Israel, 84-6, 88-9; Israel 
rebellious against, 86-8; 



3(>^ 



INDEX 



ccivcd l)y Israel under Joshum, 
87; in this world, 80; terms for, 
8g; i>t;ibli>hod by man conscious 
of GckI's nearness, S9-90; an 
ethical euntept, 90-1; and the 
1 orah, Q1-2; not political, 92, 
g^^; in the liturgy, 03-6; and the 
unity of GckI, qO; connected with 
the kingdom of Israel, 104-6, 114- 

15. 
Sre also Israel, the kingdom of. 

Kin^niom of heaven, the, defined, 
()5-C), ^Q. 
See also Kingdom of God, the. 

Kings (I ), the HtK>k of, cited, in con- 
net lion with God's closeness to 
the <a:lh, 29; with Elijah's ex- 
cessive zeal, 52-3; with jealousy, 
204 (bis). 

Kings (II), the Hook of, cited, in 
( onm t tion with Naaman's ac- 
knowhdgtment of Gotl, 26; with 
imi)ut<(i >in. 1X7; with sin as 
rilnllion. 2ig; with the repent- 
ante of M.ina>sth, 31 S, 319. 

Kingship, the, of Gotl, and his abode 
in hea\in, 31-2; Ix'gins with the 
trtatit)n of man, 81, 82. 

vS<7' also Kingtlom of God, the. 

Kru aciitii:, forbidden on the Sab- 
l)aih, 153. 

Korah. aiiuiled to, 222; given op- 
IH»rlunity for reix-ntance, 316. 

Ku.uiri, the. by Judah Hallevi, 
qut)ti(l, 14O. 

1-amb. term for the relation between 
Citni and L^rael, 47. 

Lanuntatiuns, the Hook of, cited, in 
( oniui tion with Jeremiah's proper 
i-eal, 53; with the kingdom of 
Gixl. f'7; with the weakening in- 
llurme of sin, ^39; with the at- 
tribute of ju.stite, 240. 

I^w. the, not connected with hard- 
ness, 34; the allegorising method 
directed against, 40-2; fulfil- 



ment of, easjr to a clifld of God, 
55 ; derives its authority from the 
kUigdom of God, 116; not a cor- 
rect rendering of Torah, 117; 
holiness the highest achiercmcst 
of, 199; relation of Kedmskah 
and Ckasidutk to, aoi ; ovcnutod 
by God, for the sake of repent- 
ance, 3aa. 

Stt also Joy of the Law; Legal- 
ism; Leviticalism; Motaism; 
Torah, the. 

Leaven in the dough, the, the £mI 
YewtTt a6a-3 ; identified with the 
Evil Yeter in a prayer, 965^; 
God takes the responsibility for, 
a66, a8a ; good purpose of, a66-8. 
Set also Evil Ytwtr^ the. 

Legalism, charged to be the pre- 
dominant clement in Jewish 
theology, a3-4; misunderstood, 
117. 

Su also Law, the; Levitical- 
ism; Mosaism; Torah, the. 

I^egends, on the revelatioQ, 110-5; 
universalistic tendency of, 131-s. 

Levitical impurity, sacrifices in- 
tended for, 396; the Day of 
Atonement concerned with, 301. 

Leviticalism, not antigooistic to 
Prophetism, 119. 

Leviticus, the Book of, dted. In con- 
nection with binding laws, 13; 
with the election of Israel, 58; wid& 
the sanction of the Law, xx6; 
Scriptural portion for the Day of 
Atonement from, 1x9; mn taint 
the essential principle daimed by 
Christianity and humanity, xi9«> 
ao (6tf); dted, in connection wtth 
the intention to underlie sacri- 
fices, 160; with God's covenant 
with the patriarchs, 17a (Mf); 
with the doctrine of imputed sin, 
19a (bis); with the holiness of 
Israel, aoo; with holiness thnwgh 
separation, aos, six; with an- 



INDEX 



369 



ual immorality, ao6; with rela- 
tions between man and his fellow, 
ais; with love of neighbour, 
aa6-7; with justice, a3o; with 
spiritual corruption, a35; with 
unintentional sins, a4X {bis)\ 
with the good heart, a59; with 
the removal of the Evil YeMer, 
apa; with the punishment of 
sinners, ag$; with the limited 
efficacy of sacrifices, a95; with 
the size of the sacrifice, apy; 
with the scapegoat, 301; with 
encouraging sinners to repent, 

3ai. 

Liars, excluded from the Divine 
Presence, a3a. 

Libertinism, and the observance 
of the Torah, an. 

Life of the world, epithet for God, 
a6. 

Light, the, of the first day, con- 
cealed by sin, 337. 

Light of the world, epithet for God, 
a6. 

Limitation theory of the Cabalists, 
laS. 

Lishmah, defined as single-minded- 
ness in the performance of the 
Law, 159-61; attained through 
the performance of the Law, 161 ; 
excludes the idea of reward, i6a~3. 
See also Reward. 

Liturgy, the, a source for Rabbinic 
theology, 3, 9-1 x ; as a thedogic 
test for the Talmud, xo; early 
origin of, x x ; in the Talmud, xi ; 
free from alien epithets for God, 
44; the fatherhood of God in, 
54-6 ; the election of Israel in, 57 ; 
the kingship prayers in, universal 
in tone, 93-6; the kingdom of 
God in, 97, 105 ; on the Torah as 
a source of joy, 147; and the 
doctrine of Zackutk, XS4; and 
prayers for the dead, 198; on 
holiness, ax 8; prayen for grace 

2B 



to conquer the Evil YeMer in, ajgr 
80; daily prayer for repentance 

in, 341. 

See also Prayer; Prayer Book, 
the; Prayers, the, of the syna- 
gogue. 

Lord of the World, epithet for God, 
ax, a6. 

Lost things, keeping, prevents ze- 
pentence, 330. 

Love of God, the, the reason for 
Israel's election, 61 ; defined, 67- 
70; unconditional, 68; incom- 
patible with love of self, 68-9; a 
longing for God, 69-70, 73-6; 
must be disinterested, 7a, 74; 
and the visible kingdom of God, 
78-9; a constituent of the Torah, 
146, X47; the only proper motive 
for the worshipper, X63; the mo- 
tive for performance of the Law, 

167-9. 

Lovingkindness, works of, a weapon 
against the Evil Yeier, 373; have 
atoning power, 3x3. 
Su also Charity. 

Lust, corresponds to the EvU Yeaer, 
a46; in the soul of man, a6o; the 
world based on, 367. 
See also Sexual iximiorality. 

Luther, quoted, on the intimate re- 
lationship of God and man, 51 n. 

Luzzatto, Moses Chayim, on love 
of God, 69-70; on the joy of the 
Law, X51; on CkasidtUh, 909 n. 

Lydda, alluded to, ax6. 

Maacah, mother of Absalom, al- 
luded to^ 8X3. 

Maimonides, and Israel's election, 
57; on the Mitweikt X4x; on the 
Sabbath, 153; on the fulfilment 
of the MiMwoih, 165; on repent- 
ance, 33x; on the nature of re- 
pentance, 335; on prayer and 
repentance, 339. 

Makom, See Space. 



dtcouraging of repentance 
ginners, 321 ; with repentac 
human and Divine, 337. 

Malady, the name for the E\ 
Ye%er, 944. 

Man, the creation of, and God 
kingship, 81, 93 ; a free agent, 81 
9; the centre of creation, 8a; i 
rebellion, 83; efiFect of his coi 
sdousness of God, 89-90; th 
master of his inclinations, 270-^ 

Manasseh, a Pifrek ol, aai ; his re 
pentance acceptable to Grod, 318- 
i9> 336; his repentance not tbi 
highest degree, 3ao. 

Manners, good, God a model of, ao3 

Mardon, Hamack on, 18. 

Marriage laws, in the Mishnah, a. 

Martyrdom, enjoined to prevent the 
commission of the cardinal sins, 
aaa. 

Maskal, the. Set AUegoric inter- 
pretation of Scripture. 

Master of all Creation, epithet for 
God. 22, 34. 

Masters, slights put upon, prevent 
repentance, 330. 

Material, term not used in Rab- 
binic literature, 144. 

Material happiness, a feature of the 
national kingdom of God, 109-14; 
and religion, 111. 

Mechilia, the, censures Israel for 
deferring the kingdom of God, 86 ; 
numerous citations from the 
Prophets and Hjnrin«»i«--»'- - 



INDEX 



371 



Midiashic works, thedogic sources, 

3- 
Midrashim, the. See Rabbis, the; 

Rabbinic literature, the. 

Ministering angels, surrounding 
God, 38, 3a. 

Miracles, in Rabbinic literature, 5- 
8. 

Mishael, justified in rebelling against 
Nebuchadnezzar, 107. 

Mishnah, the, character of the con- 
tents, a; drawbacks as a theo- 
logic source, 3-4; liturgical pas- 
sages in, I X ; on the Evil Feser, 

a45. 246. 

Missionary enterprises, and the 
Rabbis, 133. 

MiMwdh, the, complementary to 
the Torah, 117-18; the number 
and divisions of, according to R. 
Simlai, 138, X4x-a; denounced as 
a burden, 138-9; the number of, 
interpreted hoiniletically, 139-40; 
which were obsolete in the time 
of the Rabbis, 141; which were 
restricted in their application, 141 ; 
character of, 14a; indusiyeness 
of, 143-4; how considered by 
Israel, 148; salvation not de- 
pendent on the number ful- 
filled, 164-6; a source of holi- 
ness, 168-9; doctrinal value of, 
231. 

"Modernity," and the Rabbis, 19- 
30. 

Moloch, laws on sacrifices to, not a 
practical consideration, 141. 

Mommsen, on the cruelty of the 
Roman government, 108-9 n. 

Montaigne, quoted, 39. 

Moral principles of the revelation, 
unacceptable to the nations, 133. 

Mosaism, not antagonistic to Proph- 
etism, X19. 

See also Law, the; Legalism; 
Leviticalism; Torah, the. 

Moses, form of his acknowledgement 



of God, 96; appearance of God to, 
a proof of God's omnipresence, 
99; buried by God, 37; offers 
hiinself as an atoning sacrifice, 53, 
3x0; exalted place of, as a 
prophet, 1x8, 134 n.; captures the 
Torah from heaven, 130; in- 
structed in all the deductions 
from the Torah, 134-5; and the 
appointment of judges, 143; in- 
vokes the ZachiUh of the tribes, 
179-3; invokes the Zachuih of 
the Fathers, 174; the meekness 
of, 933; the effect of sin on, 337- 
8; name given to the Evil YeMer 
by, 943; reproaches God for the 
Evil yeser, 983; prays for the 
regeneration of the siimer, 316. 

Moses Loeb, of Sasow, on scepti- 
cism, III. 

Mother, term for the relation be- 
tween God and Israel, 47. 

Mothers, the, in the sense of the 
wives of the three patriarchs, 179. 

Murder, and the doctrine of im- 
puted sin, 196; a cardinal sin, 
905; different kinds of, 9x3; un- 
known, sacrifice for, 301; not 
subject to repentance, 333. 
See also Bloodshed. 

Mystic, a, on repentance, 334. 

Mystidsm, and God's abode, 98-9, 
33; in Judaism, 76; defined by 
De Wette, 77 ; and law, 78. 

Mystics, the, on the reciprocal rela- 
tionship of God and Israel, 47-8; 
on the love of God, 68-70, 79-6; 
on the creation of the world, 138; 
and combinations of letters, 199; 
their view of the Torah, 135; on 
unintentional sins, 941; on the 
heart as the seat of the YeMers, 
956. 

Naaman, illustrates the attitude of 

a proseljrte, 95-6. 
NachmanideSyOn imputed sin, 186 n. ; 



37« 



INDEX 



on Chandmtk, aix-xa; on the 

law of goodnen, 9x4-15. 
Namdyes, the, of the Bible, how 

regarded, lao. 
Nationalism, and the Torah, 105- 

6. 
Nazarite, a, cuts off hair to subdue 

the Eva YeMir, 977. 
Nazir, the, the holiness of, 9xi~ia. 
Nebuchadnezzar, justified rebellion 

against, 107. 
New Testament, the, the Prophets 

and Hagiographa called Law in, 

"5- 
New Year, the, the kingdom of God, 

in the liturgy of, 93-4, 105. 

Naikm, Talmudic tractate, atten- 
tion to, identified with Ckatp- 
dtUh, 909. 

Nimrod, a rebel, 919. 

Ninereh, the repentance of die men 
of, 396. 

Noah, and the doctrine of imputed 
sin, 195 ; saved for the sake of his 
childrcaQ, 196; the dietary laws 
distinguish Israel from Uie de- 
scendants of (set also Gentiles, 
the), 907. 

Nomism. See Legalism. 

Names, not a correct rendering of 
Torah, 1x7; applied to the 
Prophets and Hagiographa, X95. 

Numbers, the Book of, dted, in con- 
nection with the faithfulness of 
Israel, 59; with the superiority of 
the Torah, xx8; with the joy of 
the Law, 150; with the holiness 
of fulfilling Biblical command- 
ments, 908; with the Por^ ol, 
991; with humility, 993; with 
the weakening influence of sin, 
939; with the Nazarite, 949; with 
free will and the Evil Yeser, 987; 
with the intention underljring sac- 
rifice, 998 ; with the atoning power 
of the continual burnt offering, 
999. 



Oaths, administration o^ in the 

Mishnah, 9. 
Obadiah, the Book of, dted, in 

connection with the kingdom of 

God, 100. 
Olah, the. See Burnt offering, the. 
Old Testament, the, the wwHwnir 

ideal of, 1x9. 
Only One of the world, epithet for 

God, 96. 
Ophanim, die, suixounding God, 

Palestine, laws on the conquest of, 

obsolete, 141. 
Pantheistic notions in Jewish writ- 

Pappos, on the arbitrariness of God, 

305- 
Paradise^ endowed with pre-mun- 

dane existence, xsS. 

Pardon. See F oigiv eness. 

Patriarchs, the, atone for Israel, 53, 
3x0; teachers of the kingdom of 
God, 99; have dominion over the 
EvU YeMer, 97X. 
See also Fathers, the. 

Paul, apostie, antinomian influence 
of, 4t attitude of commentators 
on Episdes of, x8. 

Penitence, qualifies for the kingdom 
of God, X06. 
See also Repentance. 

Pentateuch, the, often equivalent to 
Torah, xi8; sometimes con- 
sidered higher than the pnq)hets, 
X18; contains more than law, 
X9x; importance of , in the Mes- 
sianic time^ 194 n.; the Prophets 
depend on, X94. 
See also Law, tbit; Torah, the. 

People, term for the rdation of Is- 
rael to God, 46. 

Persecution, the reason for Israel's 
election, 60. 

Personification of the Torah, 199- 
30. 



INDEX 



373 



Perushim, those who abstain from 
things superfluous, six. 

Pdra^ an epithet for Abraham, 173. 

Pharaoh, type of man deified, 39; 
why GoA hardened his heart, 33a. 

Phenomena, natural, warn men to 
repent, 315. 

Pqrutim, fictions, term applied to 
the narratives of the BiUe, lao. 

Pledge, taking the, of the poor, pre- 
vents repentance, 330. 

Ploughing, forbidden on the Sab- 
bath, 153. 

Polytheism, disguised, detrimental 
to belief in the unity of God, 68- 

9- 
Su also Idolatry. 

Poor, plimdering the, prevents re- 
pentance, 331. 

Porek olf defined, aao-i. 

Poverty, inconsistent with the king- 
dom of God, no; ' the Rabbis 
on, ixa-13; a remedy against the 
Evil Yeur^ a 78. 

Power, the, of God, 38. 

Prayer, heard instantaneoiisly by 
God, 31 ; defined by a medieval 
Rabbi, 43; by Israel, acceptable 
to God, 49* 50-x; characterised 
by the Rabbis, 156-7; devotion 
indispensable in, 156-^; proper 
motive for, x6a; renders the 
Zachulh of the Fathers efficacious, 
x8o ; invalidated by robbery, aa8- 
9, a34; accompanying repentance, 

338-9- 
Prayer, a, by a girl regarding the 

Evil Yener, a65; by a Rabbi re- 
garding the leaven in the dough, 
a65-6; by a Rabbi regarding the 
Evil Yeser, 377. 
Prayer Book, the, and the charge of 
a transcendental God in Rabbinic 
theology, aa-3, 39; term for the 
kingdom of God in, 89. 

Su also Liturgy, the; Prayer; 
Prayers, the, of the synagogue. 



Prayers, by Rabbis, for grace to 
conquer the Evil Yaer, 378-9. 

Prayers, the, of the synagogue, 
illustrate the joy of the Law, 
154-9; composed by the Rabbis, 

155. 

Pre-mundane eiistences, 13 and n., 
59-60, 80, ia7, ia8-9, 135, 314. 

Presence, the Divine. See Shechi- 
nah, the. 

Pride^ a form of idolatry, 333-4. 

Profanation of the name of God, 
caused by idolatry, 333; a sin not 
subject to repentance, 338, 339. 

Prohibitive laws, the number of, 138. 

Property laws, in the Mishnah, a. 

Propheqr, equivalent to holiness, 
317; on the punishment of sin- 
ners, 393. 

Prophetism, not antagonised bj 
Mosaism, 1x9. 

Prophets, tibe, atone for Israd, 53, 
310; plead with God for Israd, 
53-4; demand punishment by 
deaUi, rather than repentance, 

ja3- 

Prophets, the, the books of, some- 
times ezduded by the term Torak, 
1x8; sometimes considered less 
than the Pentateuch, 1x8; in- 
duded in the term Torah, xsx-6; 
lessons from, accompany the Pen- 
tateuch portions, xss; frequently 
quoted by the Rabbis, xas ; bene- 
diction for, 133; dependent on 
the Pentateuch, X34; how dted 
in Rabbinic literature, 134-5. 

Prosdytes, transitory character of 
opinions 00, 9-xo; inclined to 
transcendentalism in acknowl- 
edging God, a5-6; and epithets 
for God, 46; in the kingdom of 
God, 106. 

Proverbs, the Book of, dted, in 
connection with the wisdom of 
God, 38; with the ^orification of 
God throu^ Creation, 80; with 



wSidom. tij, 119: wjtb the ny* 
of Oa Tonh, i4y. wilh tbr Z»- 
tktUk of t ptou conicmponry, 
ifa; with the doclrincof ImputBd 
un, i9j; inlh the Zarkuk el ■ 
pLous pulcrirr, tgj; wilhtbrKrict 
inlnpnutioo of the L«w. iiC 
(frii): wilh pride, iij; with Ihe 



muntcniionol tiu. (40; with Ihr 
Ei^ Yair. t4y. with dii M the 
(Siue of death, 14;: with tree 
will iQd ihf Evil Yair. .«; (Wi); 
with the puniihmeDt ol tJiuMn, 
193; with Uie liiniled efhcBC}' ot 
vcrificci, 19A; with Btooenuxil 
through luSning, yig; wilh 
death-bed repenUnce, J40. 
Pialmi, the, riled, in coBDMdon 
with Arabotfa, i&, 31 ; wilh the 
abcHle of God, 33, j6; with the 
wealth of God. 38- «rilh Uriel 
fonaken b; God. 43; with the 
title applied by God to Itrael. tj; 
with the election of lirwi. jBi 
with the unity of God, 69; with 
!on(ting for God, 70; with the 
kiogihip of God. 61, 90. 97, q)(, 
99; and Ibe Law. iifi; cUoi. to 
coanectioo with Ihe pcjwa- of 
God'i wotlc. III: with the n- 
ttol of Ihe Torah, in: with the 
Torah a> Ibe bride of Imel. 
with Ihe Uawath. 14°: wHh the 
induiiveneai of the Totah, 144. 
divested of iodividiuiliillc ten- 



den. 



7. iss; 



wilh devodoa in ptajct, 1 5A, 1 $j , 
with pcriormlng Ihe Law wflbout 
lelerence to reward, 161-j (Wj)i 
with the eaential commuidnxat*. 



*enge, 304; with exaltation, B04i 
with pride, iij; with the Weak- 
ening influence of tin, sj9; wilh< 



ihc Brff Pmv, 14*. ><s. 144 (U), 



wMi the dwn hawt. »s»i «M 
the MMtr of the Tank m a 
wca(wa tfiliMt tkc Ad r»r, 

1741 *(th pace to recqvT tba 

£vJ Vrttr. 78 (bay. wfth ttic 
wiU and the e^ ffav. *»»; 

19}; with [iBidoa giasHd bf 

God. iTt-s (K>); with the (ft- 



•rftli (he act of rmUtica, 1 



jij; ««lk God'i loMnKiia* in 

aura bunan and Dlifoc, jij 
(Wi). jtB. 
Pwudo- Jaaathan, on tlie £M FcNr. 



a94, 304. 
5m al(« Rrward and pmllb- 

Qutn. (pitfaM erf the Sabtaih, ts«. 

Rah, and tk Mrkt imeipnuilM ol 

thr La*. »5~i6. 
Rabba, dtfliM CJha*Mh4, •*«. 
Rabba Bar bar Chaao, ud tte 

luicl tntcrpiMalioB «f lb* Law, 



■ouro^ 1-9, 11-16. 
5- Rabbb. tha^ 
laMiia. thi^ minaaed d 
InkaoCi; a» MJimito-widtfcB^ 7; 
en f^ib. 14: «n ain, 14; w lim 
d>a» irf Cod to Ma, M^ 
tv-io- j>> SSi eplilieta lor God 
umJ bf, »6-K, 14; and the dar- 
trine «f a pBional Ood, ja; (htfr 
rltwoltbtUw.M: ooUiamnnai 
cl God. jj-Ai on cofpcacal Una* 
applied U Ood, i»-Ti drU|bI la 



INDEX 



375 



humanising God, 37-8; object to 
deifying man, 38-9; and the 
allegorising method, 39-44; rev- 
erence of, for the Scriptures, 42-3 ; 
substitute the Tetragrammaton 
for the epithets for God, 46; 
terms applied by, to the relation 
between God and Israel, 47; 
on the reciprocal relation between 
God and Israel, 48-9, 50-1; on 
the fatherhood of God, 51-6; on 
the election of Israel, 58-64; de- 
fine the kingdom of God, 65; 
on love of God, 66-8, 79; on 
freedom in the kingdom of God, 
70-a; on the character of the 
reward of the righteous, 78; on 
the creation of man as a free 
agent, 81; on the kingship of 
God, 8a; on Israel's establish- 
ing the kingdom of God, 85-6, 
88-9; on man's righteousness 
and the kingdom of God, 89-91 ; 
on the Torah and the kingdom 
of God, 91-a; on the form 
of government, 9a; on the na- 
tional kingdom of God, 100, 
10I-3, IDS, 114-15; on what 
constitutes Israel a nation, 105- 
6; on the Roman government, 
X07-9; on material happiness 
connected with the national 
kingdom of God, 109-14; on 
poverty, no, xia-13; the eco- 
nomic ideal of, ixa; object 
to speculation, 113-13; on the 
relation of employer to em- 
ployee, 1x3; on the connection 
between Israel and the kingdom 
of God, XX4-X5; on the sanction 
of the Law, xx6; on the relative 
value of Moses and the other 
prophets, x x 8 ; on the books of the 
Prophets, XX9, xa4; on the Torah 
as the word of God, x ao-x ; on the 
Book of Genesis, xai; on extra- 
legal elements in the Torah, xax ; 



frequently quote the Prophets 
and Hagiographa, laa; include 
the Hagiographa in the Scrip- 
tures, xa3; extend the use of 
Torah beyond the Scriptures, ia6; 
on the Torah as wisdom, 137; 
attitude toward missionary enter- 
prises, X3a; on the pregnant 
meaning of the Torah, X34; on 
the Torah as God's will, X36-7; 
MtMwoih obsolete in the time of, 
X4x; on the indusiveness of the 
Torah, x4a-4; make no division 
between material and spiritual, 
X44-6; the Torah a source of 
joy to^ 146-7, X50-X; on the 
Sabbath, x5a-4; accused of 
mechanical tendencies, X55; the 
composers of the liturgy, 155; 
on prayer, X55-7; on purity of 
motive in the performance of 
the Law, x6o-x; on reward and 
punishment, x6a-3; on negative 
and positive virtue, X66-7; on 
love as the motive for the per- 
formance of the Law, X67-9; on 
the ancestors whose Zachuth is 
invoked, x7a-3; on the Fathers, 
173-5 i on the Zachutk of a pious 
ancestry, X76-7, x8x-5; limit the 
Zachuth of the Fathers, X77-8; 
impute unlimited efficacy to it, 
X78-8X; on imputed sin, X86-9; 
on the Zachuth of a pious con- 
temporary, X 89-90; on the soli- 
darity of Israel, X9X-5; on im- 
puted sin through posterity, X96- 
7; on the Zachuth of posterity, 
X97-8; on holiness as an Imitatio 
DHt x99-aoo; on the imitation 
of God by man, aox-5; on sexual 
immorality, ao5-6; on the dietary 
laws, ao7 ; on acts provoking dis- 
gust, ao7; on Chasiduth, ao9-xo; 
on the law of goodness, ax5-x6; 
on communion with God, 3x7-18; 
define sin as rebellion, ai9-so; 



the Evil Yeter takes pot 
man, 352-5; do not 
man corrupt, 262; kct 
golden mean, 264; on t 
in the dough, 266; on 
against the Ex*U Yeter^ 
the uses of the study of tl 
against the Evil YtMer, 
ascetic remedies against 
Yeur, 277; <m grace to 
the Evil Yner, 278--S4; 
punishment of sinners, 29, 
the intention underlying 
fices, 297-8; on the Day of 
ment, 301-4; on the jus 
God, 304-6; offer themsei 
an atonement feu* Israel, 31 
God's instruction of men 
pentance, 314-15; on reh 
into sin, 339. 

Rahab, illustrates the attitu 
the pro8el3rte, 26. 

Reaping, forbidden on the Sal 

Rebellion, against God, the 
sin, 83; the sin of Israel, 
definition of sin by the It 
219-22, 233. 

Reciprocal relation between 
and Israel, 47-9, 50-1. 

Reconciliation with God, th 
sacrifices, limited in efficacv. 

7: tl»r»»«— *- ' 



INDEX 



377 



333; a mystic's view of, 334; 
the nature of, 334; consists of 
acts, 334-5; must be accom- 
panied by confession of sin, 335- 
8; and prayer, 338-^; and fast- 
ing, 339-40; on the death-bed, 
340-x; daily, 349; during the 
Ten Penitential Da3rs, 34a; not 
limited to special seasons, 34^-3. 
Su also Penitence. 

Restitution, a condition of atone- 
ment for moral sins, 296, 303 ; and 
repentance, 320. 
Su also Reparation. 

Resurrection, controversy about the 
Scriptural authority for the belief 

in, 124-5- 

Reuben ben Astrobolis, Rabbi, on 
the time when the Evil Yeur 
takes possession of man, 252. 

Revelation, the, indispensable to 
the existence of the world, 128-9; 
the day of, in Rabbinic literature, 
X30-1; universalistic feature of, 
131-2, X33, 13s; moral features 
of, unacceptable to the Gentiles, 
X32; an act of grace, X33-5; due 
to the ZachtUh of the Fathers, 1 74 ; 
and the doctrine of imputed sin, 
195; the act of, made dependent 
upon the children of the Israelites, 

3"- 
See also Law, the; Pentateuch, 

the; Torah, the. 

Revenge, and the imitation of God, 
204. 

Reward, the, of the righteous, R. 
Jose on, 14; not the motive for 
the performance of the Law, 167, 
169. 
See also Lishmah. 

Reward and punishment, in the 
Rabbinical system, 162-3. 

'Right hand," the, of God, repre- 
sents the attribute of mercy, 323. 

Righteous, the, reward of, 14; com- 
pose the kingdom of God, 106; 



how they differ from the wicked, 
270-1; and the appearance of 
the Evil Yeser, 990; the atoning 
power of, 310. 

Righteous One of the world, epithet 
for God, 96. 

Righteousness, imputed. See Za- 
chuih. 

Righteousness, treated by the Aga- 
dah, 3; establishes the kingdom 
of God, 89-90, 93; culminates 
in holiness, 199; and the Zachnlh, 
176, x8o, 189-90; of God, to be 
imitated by man, 902. 

Ritual observances, attacked by the 
Evil Yeser, 95X. 

Robbery, a form of Uoodshed, 997- 
9; invalidates sacrifices, 998; 
invalidates charity, 228; invali- 
dates prayer, 998-9, 234; not 
subject to repentance, 333. 

Rome, identified with the enemies 
of Uie kingdom of God, 99-xoi, 
106-9; obedience to, enjoined 
upon Israel, 107; objection to 
the government of, 107-8; con- 
sidered corrupt by the Rabbis^ 
108-9. 

Saadya, Rabbi, on what constitutes 
Isred a nation, 105; defines the 
worshipper, 164; on relapsing 
into sin, 339. 

Sabbath, the, man the lord of, 152; 
attacks upon, 152-3; illustrates 
the joy of the Law, 153-4; 
celebrated by the observers of it, 
»53-4; epithets given to, 154; 
profanation of, due to the Evil 
Yeser, 246. 

Sacrifices, invalidated by robbery, 
228; accompanied by repent- 
ance, 994, 296-7; limited in effi- 
cacy as a means of atonement, 
295-7; charity superior to^ 996; 
efficacy depends upon the inten- 
tion, 297-8; atoning power as- 



i<.iv, icrm lor the reUtiOQ beti 

God and Israel, 46. 
Saintliness. See CkasidiUh. 
Saints, associate with sinners 

encourage repentance, 321, 
"Saints. The, Chapters of." t 

ades reported in, 6. 
Salvation, not dependent on 

number of commandments 1 

filled, 164; secured by the ful 

ment of one commandment, it 

6; seciired by negative virtu 

166-7; depends upon the actio 

of man, i8a, 189. 
Salvation, term for the rdatii 

between God and Israel, 46. 
SamaH, identified with the E% 

Yeser, 246. a6a. 
Samaritans, the, on what is to t 

included under Torah, las. 
Samuel (I), the Book of, cited, i 

connection with the foundation 

of the world, 173; with the Za 

chidh of posterity, 197. 
Samuel (II), the Book of, cited, L 

connection with Israel in rebd 

lion, 87; with the righteous a 

the pillars of the spiritual worid 

89. 
Samud de Ozedo, quoted, on dia 

interested love of God, 7a n. 
Samuel Hakaton, worthy of th 

Divine Pre«*nr* --« 



INDEX 



379 



Shammai, not a miracle- worker, 7. 

Shammai, the school of, on the cre- 
ation of man, 8; on the atoning 
power of the burnt offering, 999. 

Shechinaht epithet for God, 35. 

Shechinah, the, as used by the Rab- 
bis, 39; removed by idolatry, 993; 
removed by pride, 993; not re- 
spected by a violent man, 224; 
removed by adultery, 994-5; ^^^ 
moved by murder, 996; removed 
by slander, 927; removed by the 
bad administration of justice, 
229-30; removed by disrespect, 
23a; removed by sin in general, 
333-3f 338; classes of persons 
excluded from, 232; revealed 
upon the removal oi the Evil 
Yezer^ 292. 

Shedding of blood. See Bloodshed; 
Murder. 

Shrma, the, and the universal 
kingdom of God, 64; and the 
kingdom of God, 65, 66-7, 71; 
Israel's confession of faith, 1x9. 

Shepherd, term for the relation be- 
tween God and Israel, 46, 49. 

Shirah (Song), the, and the kingdom 
of God, 85. 

Sho/ar, the soimd of the, an invi- 
tation to repentance, 342. 

Simlai, Rabbi, on the MtMWoih, 
138-40. 

Simon, Rabbi, on Israel's connec- 
tion with the kingdom of God, 
98. 

Simon ben Jochai, on the responsi- 
bility of God for the existence of 
the Evil Yeter, a8i. 

Simon the Just, on the Evil Yeser, 
348-9. 

Simon Kiara, on the Miswoth, 141. 

Simon ben Lakish, Rabbi, on the 
abode of God, 30-1 ; sums up 
the activity of the Evil Yener, 
244, 245. 

Sin, treated by the Agadah, 3; the 



Rabbis on, 14; aepftrates man 
from God, 33 ; has no effect upon 
the pateraial relation between God 
and Israel, 54; angeb incapable 
of, 8x; disfigures man and the 
world, 83; counteracted by the 
Zackutk of the Fathers, 174; 
caused by the heart and the e3res, 
908; d^ned by the RablMS aj 
rebellion, 9x9-99; causes the 
separation of man from God, 
333-3( 341; various equivalents 
^or, 933-5; a symptom of cor- 
ruption, 935-6; described aj 
folly, 936-7; has a blighting in- 
fluence upon the world, 937-40; 
man persuaded to, by the EvU 
Yener, 945, 960; death the con- 
sequence of, 945, 947; children 
immune from, 954; the agents 
of, 958; sways the soul, 960-x; 
relapsing into, 339-40. 

See also Evil Yeser, the; Im- 
puted sin; Sins; Sins, the car- 
dinal, etc. 

Sin, imputed. See Imputed sin. 

Sin, secret, and the doctrine of im- 
puted sin, 194; classified with 
blasphemy, 999. 

Sin, unintentional, held in abbor^ 
rence like others, 940-x; a sign 
of carelessness, 940-x; Nach- 
ixianides on, 941 ; sin offering for, 
996. 

Sin offering, the, accompanied by 
repentance, 996. 

Sins, the number of, not to stand 
in the way of repentance, 395; 
the character of, not to stand in 
the way of repentance, 395-6, 
333-4; repentance for, ineffica- 
cious if repeated, 398-^ 330. 

Sins, the cardinal, enumerated, 905- 
6; sins of rebellion, 999-39; have 
appurtenances, 923; exceeded bj 
hatred, 997; called evil 
939. 



Skh^ and Isntt 1 
vents rein!^'' ' 

^«» and thTi "-• 

4-5. "* 'Rabbinic U 

*'"'' th^X ■"'"""■""Oft- 
•"% '«-Wddor*J*\ 



Sowfi 



Talmudical works, thedogic sources, 

3- 
Tbudb, the, of the Schod of EUjkh, 

on Istael's election, 6i-). 
Tannaitic times, origin of the litiugy 

Tanning, forbidden on the S&b- 

TarRum, the, on the Evil Vaa, »43- 

Tai^umim, the, epithets for God 
vitA in, 35; commentators on, 
not syslcmatic theologians, l%-x(t. 
Set alio Rabbis, the. 

TemptinB, the (unction of the Evil 
yatt, 348. 
Set also Sedudng. 

Ten Penitential Days, ■ oU to ITt- 
pentance, 341; ascetic practices 
connected with, 34a. 

TetiagranunatoD, the, apt^icd to 
the God of meic;, 3b, 139; coo- 
nected with the Scriptural de- 
scription of the sacTiGces, 45; 
ordered to be pronounced, to 
guard against heresies, 45; sub- 
stituted for epithets for God, 46; 
a pre-mundane eiijtence, So. 

Theocracy, a, the only form of gov- 
enunent luiowii Co the Rabbis, 
Q>. 93- 

Theology, Rabbinic, sources of, 1-6, 
9-11; not a formal system, I j-i 7 ; 
impulsive character of, la-ij; 
lacks logicality, 13-15, 30; d3- 
ficulty of systematising, 16-17; 
Jewish attitude of author to, 17- 

apologetic, iS-io; exalted char- 
acter of, ao; charged with hav- 
ing a transcendental God, 11-3, 
a3; not influenced by mystical 
and pantheistic notions of God's 

See alia Rabbis, the. 
Tlirosophy, and (he Torah, 135. 
Thieves, partnership witli, pre- 
vents repentance 330. 



'EX 381 

Throne of ^ory, the, 18, 31. 

Tochachoth, the, make the Book «f 
Deuteroniuay an /iiilaJM Dii, 
119. 

Torah, the, and the creation of the 
world, Bi; and the kingdom of 
God, 91-ai makes Israel a na- 
tion, 105-6; forced denial of, 
absolves from obedience to Rome, 
107; the term misunderstood, 
116^17; not atrrectly tendered 
by Law, etc., 117; what it c«a- 
veys to the Jew, 117, 1*5; ilit- 
viQth compdementaiy to, 117-18; 
often equivalent to Pentateuch. 
118; SCTiptural warrant for the 
BupcrioriCy of, 1 1 E ; the Prophets 
a commentary on, 119', dictated 
by Che Holy Spirit. lao; legal 
part of, b^ms in Exodus, lao-i; 
not alwaya confined to (he Pen- 
tateuch, 111-6; name applied to 
the Prophets and Hagiograpba, 
115; eitends beyond the Scrip- 
tures, 116; u a revelation and a 
prnmise, 117; identified with 
wisdom, IS7-8, laj. 135; en- 
dowed with a mystical life; 119- 
30; wedded to Isrvel, 130; cap- 
tured from heaven, 130; refused 
by the Gentiles, 131-ai intended 
for tbe Gentiles as well as Israd, 
133; potentialides of, 134-S; the 
Rabbinical view of, 136-7; char- 
acter of the laws in, 1 4a ; indu- 
sivencsa of, 143-4, 146; based 00 
the execution of justice, 143; the 
Kusari on, 146; a source of joy 
to the Rabbis, 146-!; how con- 
sidered by Inael, 148; joy an 
essential clement in the under- 
standing of, 14S; material uses 
of, deprecated, 154, \y}; dis- 
interested performance cd, i^^ 
69; occupation with, a positive 
virtue, 167; love the motive tea 
the performance at, 167-9; * 



^«».^ iu-Adam. the Tor.h ; 

^ God ^''^f^^^t.ia 
'ne^;5!^/' » '*^«ig of prose. 



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Tr^ ^**' *'**^ God. 
Treasure, term for i^,^,.^. 
Israel f« 1^^ . "*^ r^Utioa of 



INDEX 



383 



Wealth, the, of God, 38; desire for, 
not counted among the great 
passions, 350; in the soul of 
man, 360; auxiliary to the Evil 
Yezett 277. 

Weaving, forbidden on the Sab- 
bath, 153. 

Weber, charges Jewish theology 
with excessive legalism, 23-4. 

Wicked, the, forfeit the ZachtUh of 
the Fathers, 179-80; how they 
differ from the righteous, 370-1; 
and the appearance of the Evil 
YeMer, 990; association with, pre- 
vents repentance, 330. 

Widows, plundering, prevents re- 
pentance, 331. 

Will of God, manifested in crea- 
tion, 80. 

Wine-drinking, restricted, axz. 

Winnowing, forbidden on the Sab- 
bath, 153. 

Wisdom, the, of God, 38; Jesus, 
the son of Sirach, on, 70 ; the yoke 
of, a glory, 70; equivalent to the 
Torah, 127, 129, 135. 

Wisdom (Hagiographa), on the 
punishment of sinners, 993. 

Wisdom literature, the, and the Law, 
116. 

Wise, attribute applied to Israd by 
God, 47. 

Women, looking at, prevents re- 
pentance, 330. 

Word. See Memra. 

Work, thirty-nine kinds of, for- 
bidden on the Sabbath, 153. 

Workmen, treatment of, urged by 
the Rabbis, 11 3-1 4. 

Works, Rabbi Akiba on the jus- 
tification by, 15-16; and the 
love of God, 75. 

World, Lord of the, epithet for God, 
21, 26. 

World, the, relation of God to, 3x- 
45; epithets describing God's 
relation to, 26-8; fate of, may 



depend on a single action, 189- 
90; chosen as his portion by 
Esau, 100; the seat of the king- 
dom of God, 104; purpose of the 
creation of, 8o-z; plunged into 
chaos by sin, 83; is the kingdom 
of God, 89. 

World, the future, chosen as his 
portion by Jacob, 100; persons 
destined for, 165-6; the EvU 
Yeter subdued in, 383; justice to 
prevail in, 307. 

Worships due to God alone, 44-5. 

Writing, forbidden on the Sabbath, 

153- 

Koer, the, equivalent to the EvU 
YeMer, 363. 

YeMer Hara. See EvU YeMer, the. 

Yoke of the kingdom of God, the. 
See Kingdom of God, the; King- 
dom of God, the invisible; King- 
dom of God, the visible; King- 
dom of heaven, the. 

Yoke of the Torah, the. Se$ 
Kingdom of God, the. 

Zachuih, acquired through the com- 
mandments, 164; place of. the 
doctrine in Judaism, 170; ety- 
mology, etc., of the word, 170-z; 
divisions of the subject, 171-3; 
and individual righteousness, 176^ 
189-90. 

See also Zaehmtk, the, of the 
Fathers, etc. 

Zaekmih, the, of a pious ancestry, 
171. I7S-7. 181-5; defined, 175- 
7; individual righteousness and, 
176; extension of, 181-3; ^<*^ 
not relieve the individual from 
responsibility, 183-5; in the 
liturgy, 184; and trust in God, 

184-5- 
ZachtUh, the, of a pious contem- 
porary, defined, 189-90; and 
Sodom and Gooaiorrah, 190. 



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